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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 


ARCH/EOLOGICAL SURVEY OF IgDIA 

CENTRAL 

ARCHyEOLOGICAL 

LIBRARY 


ACCESSION NO 




CALL No. 












CONTENTS 


BOOK VIII 

SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


CHAPTER 1 

PA(1E 

General aspect — Boundaries and divisions of the desert — Probable 
etymology of the Greek oasis — Absorption of the Ghaggar 
river — The Luni, or salt-river — The Kann, or Ran — ^Distinc- 
tion of that and rui — Thai of the Luni — Jalor — Siwanchi — 
Alachola and Morsin — Bbinmal and Sanchor — Bhadrajun — 

Mewa — Balotra and Tilwara — Indhavati— Gugadeo-ka-thal 
— Thai of Tararoi — Thai of Kliawar — Mallinath-ka-thal, or 
Barnier — -Kherdliar — Juna Chhotan — Nagar Gura . . 1257 


CHAPTER 2 

Chauhan Raj — Antiquity and nobility of the Chauhans of the 
desert — ^Dimensions and population of the Raj — ^Nagar — 
Bakhasar — -Tharad — Face of the Chauhan Raj — Water — 
Productions — Inhabitants — Kolis and Bhils — ^Pitals — Thais 
of Dhat and Umrasumra — Depth of wells — ^Anecdote — City 
of Aror, the ancient capital of Sind — ^Dynasties of the Sodha, 
the Sumra, and the Samma princes — ^Their antiquity — In- 
ferred to be the opponents of Alexander the Great, and 
Menander — Lieutenant of Walid takes Aror — Uniarkot : its 
history — ^Tribes of Sind and the desert— Diseases — Narua or 
Guinea-worm — Productions, animal and vegetable, of the 
desert — Daudputra — Itinerary ..... 1275 


V 



VI 


CONTENTS 


BOOK IX 


ANNALS OF AMBER, OR DHUNDHAR 


CHAPTER 1 

PAi.E 

Designations given by Europeans to the principalities of Raj- 
putana — Dliundhar known by the name of its capitals, 
Amber or Jaipur — The country of the Kachhwahas an aggre- 
gate of conquests by the race so called — Etymology of 
•Dhundhar — Origin of the Kaehbwahas — Raja Nal founds 
Narwar — Dhola Rae expelled, and founds Dhundhar — 
Itomantic legend of Dhola Rae — His treachery to liis bene- 
factor, the Mina lord of Khoganw — Marries a daughter of a 
Bargujar chief, and becomes his heir — Augments his terri- 
tories, and transfers his government to Ramgarh — Marries a 
daughter of the prince of Ajmer — Is killed in battle with the 
Minas — His son Kankhal conquers Dhundhar — Medal Rae 
conquers Amber, and other places — Conquests of Hundeo— 

Of Kuntal — Accession of Pajun — Reflections on the aboriginal 
tribes at this period — ^The Mina race — Pajun marries the 
sister of Prithiraj of Dellii — His military prowess — Is killed 
at the rape of the princess of Kanauj — MaJesi succeeds — His 
successors — Prithiraj creates the Barah-kothris, or twelve 
great fiefs of Amber — He is assassinated — Baharmall — The 
first to wait on the Muhammadan pow'cr — Bhagwandas the 
first Rajput to give a daughter to the imperial house — His 
daughter marries Jahatrgir, and gives birth to Khusru — 
Accession to Man Singh — His power, intrigues, and death — 

Rao Bhao— Maha — Mirza Raja Jai Singh, brother of Raja 
Man, succeeds — Repairs the disgraces of his two predecessors, 
and renders immense services to the empire — Is poisoned by 
his son — Ram Singh — Bishan Singh .... 1327 

CHAPTER 2 

Sawai Jai Singh succeeds — Joins the party of Azam Shah — ^Amber 
sequestrated — Jai Singh expels the imperial garrison — His 
character — His astronomical knowdedge — His conduct during 
the troubles of the empire — Anecdote illustrative of the evils 
of polygamy — ^Limits of the raj of Amber at the accession of 
Jai Singh — ^The new city of Jaipur — Conquest of Rajor and 
Deoti — Incidents illustrative of Rajput character — Jai Singh’s 
habit of inebriation — The virtues of his character — Con- 
templates the rite of Aswamedha— Dispersion of his valuable 
manuscripts — His death — Some of his wives and concubines 
become Satis on his pyre ..... 1341 


CONTENTS 


vii 


I CHAPTER 3 

PAGE 

The Rajput league — Aggrandizement of Amber- — Isari Singh 
succeeds — Intestine troubles produced by polygamy — ^Madho 
Singh — The Jats — ^Their Rajas — Violation of the Amber terri- 
tory by the Jats — Battle — Rise of ilacheri — Decline of the 
Kachhwaha power after the death of Jladho Singh — Prithi 
Singh — Partap Singh — Intrigues at his court — The strata- 
gems of Khushhaliram, and the Maeheri chiefs — Death of 
Firoz the Filban, paramour of the Patrani — Broils with the 
Mahrattas — Partap attains majority, and gains the victory 
of Tonga — His difficulties — Exactions of the Mahrattas — 

Jagat Singh — His follies and despicable character — Makes 
Raskapur, Ids concubine, queen of half Amber — Project to 
depose him prevented by a timely sacrifice — Mohan Singh 
elected his successor . . ' . . . . 1356 


CHAPTER 4 

Jaipur the last of the Rajput States to embrace the proffered 
alliance of the British — Procrastination habitual to the 
RajputB, as to all Asiatics — Motives and considerations which 
influenced the Jaipu. ■ • - • ’fiance — A treaty 

concluded — Death c. I ' ' ’ our interference 

in the intrigues respecting the succession — I^aw of primo- 
geniture — The evils attending an ignorance of Rajput 
customs — Violation of the law of succession in the placing of 
Mohan Singh on the gmUli — Reasons for departing from the 
rule of succession — Comluct of the British authorities — The 
title of Mohan Singh disputed by the legal heir-presumptive 
—Dilemma of the Xazir and his faction — The threatened dis- 
orders prevented by the unexpected pregnancy of one of the 
queens of Jagat Singh — Birth of a posthumous son . . 1366 


SHAIKHAWAT FEDERATION 


CHAPTER 5 

rigin of the Shaikliavati federation — Its constitution — Descent 
of the chiefs from Balaji of Amber — Mokalji — Miraculous 
i ■ . '■ ■■ \ . T'- ' '■ territory — 

li. ■ 1 ' ii il ■ . : '';,!■■■ grants from 

Akbar — Gets possession of Khandcia and Gdaipur — His 
exploits and character — Girdharji — Is cut off by assassina- 
tion — Dwarkadas — His extraordinary feat with a lion — ^Falls 
by Khan Jahan Lodi — Birsinghdeo — His authority usurped 
by his son — Bahadur Singh — Aurangzeb directs the demoli- 
tion of the temple of Khandela — Bahadur deserts his capital 
— Shujawan Singh Raesalot flies to its defence — He is slain, 
VOL. m b 



viii 


CONTENTS 


PAf.R 


the temple razed, and the city garrisoned — Kesari — ^Partition 
of the territory between Kesari and Fateh Singh — Fatelj 
Singh assassinated — Kesari resists the regal authority — Is 
deserted in the field and slain — His son Udai Singh taken to 
Ajmer — Khandela retaken, and restored to Udai Singh, who 
is liberated — He resolves to punish the Manoharpur chief — Is 
baffled by that chiefs intrigues — Is besieged by Jai Singh of 
Amber — Khandela becomes tributary to Amber . . i:S78 


CHAPTER 6 

Bindrabandas adheres to Madho Singh in the civil wars of Amber 
— Partition of lands annulled — Self-immolation of the 
Brahmans — Consequences to Bindraban, in his contest wth 
Indar Singh, the other chief of Khandela — Civil war — 
Prodigal expiatory sacrifice of Bindraban — He abdicates — 
Govind Singh — Is assassinated — Narsinghdas — Rise and 
devastations of the Mahrattas — Siege of Khandela — ^Terras of 
redemption — Murder of deputies by the Mahrattas — Indar 
Singh perishes in the attempt to avenge them — Partap Singh 
—Rise of the Sikar chief — ^Transactions between Partap and 
Narsingh, his co-partner — Partap obtains the whole of 
Khandela — ^Narsingh recovers by stratagem his share of 
Khandela — Domestic broils and feuds — General assembly of 
the Sadhani and Raesalot chiefs, to counteract the encroach- 
ments of Amber — Treaty between the Shaikhawats and the 
court of Amber — Violated by the latter — The confederacy 
assault the town of the Haldia faction — Narsingh refuses 
tribute to the court, and Kliandela is sequestrated — Narsingh 
and Partap treacherously made captive, and conveyed to 
Jaipur— Khandela annexed to the fisc . . ... 109.5 


CHAPTER 7 

Bagh Singh opposes the faithless court of Amber — He is Joined by 
the celebrated George Thomas — Desperate action — Bagh 
Singh placed in the fortified palace at Khandela — His garrison, 
with his brother, slain by Hanwant Singh, son of Partap — 
Bagh regains the palace — The lands of Khandela farmed by 
Amber to two Brahmans — They are expelled by the feudatory 
Barwatias, who resist the court — ^They become a banditti— 
Sangram Singh, cousin to Partap, their leader — He avoids the 
treachery of the court — ^His death — ^The confederacy unite 
in the league against Jodhpur — ^New treaty with the Amber 
court — Liberation of Partap and Narsingh — Grand union of 
the Shaikliawats — ^Abhai Singh succeeds in Khandela — 
Treachery of the court — Hanwant regains Govindgarh, 
Khandela, etc. — Restoration of Khushhaliram to the ministry 
of Jaipur — ^New investitures granted to the feudatories of 
Khandela — Abhai and Partap inducted into their ancestral 
abodes — Incident illustrative of the defects of the Rajput 



CONTENTS 


IX 

PAGE 


feudal system — Khandela assailed by Lachhman Singh, chief 
of Sikar — Gallant defence of Hanwant — His death — Sur- 
render of Khandela to Lachlunan Singh — The co-heirs 
exiled — Power and influence of Laehhman Singh — Foils the 
m/ff designs of the Purohit — Present attitude of Laclihman Singh 
— Subordinate branches of the Shaikhawats — The Sadhanis — 
Their territories wrested from the Kaimkhanis and Rajputs 
— ^The Khetri branch of the family of Sadhu attains superiority 
— Bagh Singh of Khetri murders his own son — The Larkhaiiis 
— Revenues of Shaikhavati ..... 


CHAPTER 8 

Reflections— Statistics of Amber — Boundaries — Extent — Popula- 
tion — Number of townships — Classification of inhabitants — 
Soil — Husbandry — Products — Rev enues — Foreign army — 
The feudal levies ....... 


BOOK X 

ANNALS OF HARAVATI 

BUNDI 

CHAPTER 1 

Haravati defined — Fabulous origin of the Agnikula races — Mount 
Abu — ^The Chauhans obtain Mahishvati, Golkonda, and tJxe 
Konkan — Found Ajmer — -Ajaipal — Manika Rae — First 
Islamite invasion — Ajmer taken — Sambhar founded ; its 
salt lake — Offspring of Manik Rae — Establishments in Raj- 
putana — Contests witli the Muhanunadans — BUandeo of 
Ajmer ; Guga Chauhan of Mahra ; both slain by Mahmud- — 
Bisaldeo Generalissimo of the Rajput nations ; his period 
fixed ; his column at Oelhi ; Ihs alliances — Origin of the 
IRira tribe — Anuraj obtains Asi — Dispossessed— Ishtpal 
obtains Asir — Rao Hamir — Kao Cliand slain — Asir, Aiau-d- 
din — Prince Rainsi escapes to Chitor ; settles at Bhainsror, 
in Mewar — ^His son Kolan declared lord of the Pathar 


CHAPTER 2 

Recapitulation of the Hara princes from the founder Anuraj to 
Rae Dewa — He erects Bundi — Massacre of the Usaras— 
Dewa abdicates — Ceremony of Yugaraj, or abdication 
Succeeded by Samarsi — ^Extends his sway east of the ChambM 
— Massacre of tlxe Kotia Bhils — Origin of Kotah Napuji 
succeeds — Feud with the Solanki of Toda — Assassination of 
Napuji — Singular Sati — Hamu succeeds — -The Rana asserts 


1408 


1428 


1441 



X 


CONTENTS 


PAGh 


his right over the Tatar — ^Hamu demurs, defies, and attacks 
him — Anecdote — Birsingh — Biru — Rao Banda — Famine — 
Anecdote — Banda expelled by his brothers ; converts to 
Muhammadanism — ^Narayandas puts his uncles to death, and 
recovers his patrimony — Anecdotes of Narayandas — Aids 
the Rana of Chitor — Gains a victory — ^Espouses the niece of 
Rana Raemall — His passion for opium — ^Death — Rao Suraj- 
mall — Marries a princess of Chitor — Fatal result— Aheria or 
Spring-hunt— Assassination of the Rao — His revenge — Two- 
fold sati — Rao Surthan — His cruelty, deposal, and banish- 
ment — ^Rao Arjun elected — Romantic death — Rao Surjan 
succeeds ........ 


CHAPTER 3 

Rao Surjan obtains Ranthambhor — Is besieged by Akbar — The 
Bundi prince surrenders the castle — Becomes a vassal of the 
empire — Magnanimous sacrifice of Sawant Hara — Akbar 
bestows the title of Rao Raja on the Hara prince — He is sent 
to reduce Gondwana — His success and honours — Rao Bhoj 
succeeds — Akbar reduces Gujarat — Gallant conduct of the 
Haras at Surat and Ahmadnagar— Amazonian band — Dis- 
grace of Rao Bhoj — Cause of Akbar's death — Rao Ratan — 
Rebellion against the emperor Jahangir — The Hara prince 
defeats the rebels — Partition of Haraoti — Madho Singh 
obtains Kotah — Rao Ratan slain — His heir Gopinath killed — 
Partition of fiefs in Haraoti — Rao Chhattarsal succeeds — Ap- 
pointed governor of Agra — Services in the Deccan — Escalades 
Daulatabad — Kalburga — ^Damauni — Civil war amongst the 
sons of Shah Jahan— Character of Aurangzeb by the Bundi 
prince — Fidelity of the Hara princes — Battles of Ujjain and 
Dholpur — Heroic valour of Chhattarsal — Is slain, with twelve 
princes of Hara blood — Rao Bhao succeeds — Bundi invaded 
— Imperialists defeated — Rao Bhao restored to favour — 
Appointed to Aurangabad — Succeeded by Rao Aniruddh — 
Appointed to Lahore — His death — Rao Budh — -Battle of 
Jajau ^The Hara princes of Kotah and Bundi opposed to 
each other — Kotah prince slain — Gallantry of Rao Budh — 
Obtains the victory for Bahadur Shah — Fidelity of the BuntH* 
prince — Comi)elled to fly — Feud with the prince of Amber — 
Its cause — Ambitious views of .^Vniber — Its political con- 
dition — Treachery of Amber — Desperate conflict — Rao Budh 
driven from Bundi — Bundi territory curtailed — Rao Budh 
dies in exile — His sons 


CHAPTER 4 

Rao Ummeda defeats the troops of Amber— Conflict at Dablana— 
TJmmeda defeated and obliged to fly— Death of Hanja, his 
^eed Takes refuge amidst the ravines of the Chambal— 
Redeems his capital — Is again expelled from it — Interview 


14(i(j 


1-180 



CONTENTS 


with the widow of his father ; she solicits aid from Holkar to 
reinstate Ummeda — The Amber prince forced to acknowledge 
the claims of Ummeda— He recovers Bundi — Suicide of the 
Amber prince — First alienation of land to the Mahrattas — • 
Madho Singh of Amber asserts supremacy over Haraoti — 
Origin of tributary demands thereon — ^Zalim Singh — Mahratta 
encroachments — Ummeda’s revenge on the chief of Indargarh; 
its cause and consequences — Ummeda abdicates — Ceremony 
of Yugaraj, or abdication — Installation of Ajit — Ummeda 
becomes a pilgrim ; his wanderings ; cause of their interrup- 
tion — Ajit assassinates the Rana of Mewar — Memorable Sati 
imprecation — Awful death of Ajit — Fulfilment of ancient 
prophecy — Rao Bishan Singh succeeds — ^Umraeda’s distrust 
of his grandson ; their reconciliation — Ummeda’s death — 
British army retreats through Haraoti, aided by Bundi — 
Alliance with the English — Benefits conferred on Bundi — • 
Bishan Singh dies of the cholera morbus ; forbids the rite of 
Sati — His character ; constitutes the Author guardian of his 
son, the Rao Raja Ram Singh ..... 

KOTAH 

CHAPTER 5 

Separation of Kotah from Bundi — ^The Kotah Bhils — Madho 
Singh, first prince of Kotah— Its division into fiefs — The 
Madhani- — Raja Mukund — Instance of devotion — He is slain 
with four brothers — Jagat Singh — Pern Singh — Is deposed — 
Ivishor Singh — Is slain at Arcot — La • " ’ '' ■ ' 

aside — Ram Singh — -Is slain at ' I'. ' 

Chakarsen, king of the Bhils — His | 

Raja Bhim — Umat tribe — Origin of the claims of Kotah 
thereon — Raja Bhim attacks the Nizamu-l-mulk, and is 
slain — Character of Raja Bhim — His enmity to Bundi — 
Anecdote — Title of Jlaharao bestowed on Raja Bhim — Rao 
Arjun — Ci\'il contest for succession — Shyam Singh slain — 
Maharao Durjansal — First irruption of the Mahrattas— 
League against Kotah, which is besieged — Defended by 
Himmat Singh Jhala — Zalim Singh born — Siege raised — 
Kotah becomes tributary to the Mahrattas — ^Death of 
Durjansal — His character — His hunting expeditions — His 
queens — Bravery of the Jhala chief — Order of succession re- 
stored — Maharao Ajit — Rao Chhattarsal — Madho Singh of 
Amber claims supremacy over the Kara princes, and invades 
Haraoti — Battle of Bhatwara — Zalim Singh Jhala — The 
Haras gain a victory — Flight of the Amber army, and capture 
of the "live-coloured banner’ — Tributary claims on Kotah 
renounced — Death of Chhattarsal .... 


CHAPTER 6 

Maharao Guman Singh — Zalim Singh — His birth, ancestry, and 
progress to power — Office of Faujdar becomes hereditary in 


xi 

PAGE 


1499 


1521 



CONTENTS 


PAGE 


xii 


his family — His office and estate resumed by Guman Singh — 
He abandons Kotah — Proceeds to Mewar — Performs services 
to the Rana, and receives the title of Raj Rana, and estates 
— Serves against the Mahrattas — Is wounded and made 
prisoner — Returns to Kotah — Slahratta invasion — Storm of 
Bakhani — Its glorious defence — Sacrifice of a clan — Garrison 
of Sohet destroyed — Zaiim Singh employed — His successful 
negotiation — Restoration to power — ^Rao Guman constitutes 
Zaiim guardian of his son I’mmed Singh, who is proclaimed — • 
The Tika-daur, or ‘ raid of accession ’ — Capture of Kelwara — 
Difficulties of the Protector’s situation— ^abal against his 
power — Destruction of the conspirators — Exile of the nobles 
— Sequestration of estates — Conspiracy of Aton — ^Predatory- 
bands — Aton surrenders — Exile of the Hara nobles — Curtail- 
ment of the feudal interests — Conspiracy of Mohsen — Plan for 
the destruction of the Regent and family — Mohsen chief takes 
sanctuary in the temple — Is dragged forth and slain — Maha- 
rao’s brothers implicated in the plot — Their incarceration 
and death — ^Numerous projects against the life of the regent 
— Female conspiracy — How defeated — The Regent’s pre- 
cautions ........ 


CHAPTER 7 

Zaiim regarded as a legislator — His political ^•iews on Mewar — 
Kotah sacrificed thereto — His tyranny — His superstition — 
Makes a tour of his dominions — ^Establishes a permanent 
camp — Trains an army- — .Adoj)ts European arms and dis- 
cipline — Revises the revenue system of Haraoti — ^The Patel 
system described — Council of four — Extent of jurisdiction — 
The Bohras described — Their utility in the old farming system 
of India — Patels usurp their influence — Depression of the 
peasantry — Patels circumvented, imprisoned, and fined — 
Patel sy-stem destroyed — Return to the old system — Jloral 
estimation of the peasant of R.ajputana — Modes of realizing 
the land revenue described — .Advantages and disadvantages 


CHAPTER 8 

Farming system of Zaiim Singh — Extent to which it has been 
carried — Its prosperity, fallacious and transitory — ^Details of 
the system — Soil of Kotah — The Regent introduces foreign 
ploughs — Area cultivated — Net produce — Value — Grain-pits 
— Prices, in plenty and famine — Zaiim sells in one year grain 
to the amount of a million sterling — Monopoly — The tithe, or 
new tax on exported grain — The Jagatya, or tax-gatherer — 
Impolicy of this tax — Gross revenue of Kotah — Opium 
monopoly- — Tax on Avidows — On the mendicant — Gourd-tax 
— Broom-tax--The Regent detested by the bards — Province 
of Kotah at this period, and at assumption of the government, 
contrasted — Question as to the moral result of his improve- 
ments .... 


1534 


1547 


1550 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 9 

Political system of the Kegent — His foreign policy — ^His pre- 
eminent influence in Rajwara — His first connexion with the 
English Government — ^Monson’s retreat — Gallant conduct 
and death of the Hara cliief of Koila — Aid given by the 
Regent involves him with Holkar — Holkar comes to Kotah — 
Preparations to attack the capital — Singular interview with 
Zalim — ^Zalim’s agents at foreign courts — Alliance with Amir 
Khan, and the Pindari chiefs — Characteristic anecdotes — 
Zalim’s offensive policy — His domestic policy — Character of 
Maharao Ummed Singh — Zalim’s conduct towards him — 
Choice of ministers — Bishan Singh Faujdar — ^Dalil Khan 
Pathan — Circumvallation of Kotah — Foundation of the city 
Jhalrapatan — Mihrab Khan, commander of the forces 


CHAPTER 10 

The Rajput States invited to an alliance with the British Govern- 

t ment— -Zalim Singh the first to accept it— Marquess of Hast- 
ings sends an agent to his court — Confederation against the 
Pindaris — The Regent’s conduct during the war — Approba- 
tion and reward of his services — Peace throughout India — 
Death of Maharao Ummed Singh — ^Treaty and supplemental 
articles — Sons of Maharao Ummed Singh — Their characters 
— Sons of the Regent — State of parties — The Regent leaves 
the Chhaoni for Kotah — He proclaims Kishor Singh as suc- 
cessor of the late prince — His letter to the British agent, who 
repairs to Kotah — Dangerous illness of the Regent — Plots to 
overturn the order of succession — The Regent’s ignorance 
thereof — Intricate position of the British Government — ^Argu- 
ments in defence of the supplemental articles — Recognition 
of all rulers de facto the basis of our treaties — Kishor Singh 
refuses to acknowledge the supplemental articles — Conse- 
‘ quences — The Regent blockades the Prince, and demands 

the surrender of his son Gordhandas — ^The Maharao breaks 
through the blockade — The British agent interposes — Sur- 
render and exile of Gordhandas — Reconciliation of the 
Maharao and the Regent — Coronation of the Maharao — 
Mutual covenants executed — The Regent prohibits dand 
throughout Kotah — -Reflections ..... 


CHAPTER 11 

Banishment of Gordhandas, the natural son of the Regent--His 
reappearance in Malwa — Consequent renewal of dissensions 
at Kotah — The troops mutiny and join the Maharao — ^The 
Regent assaults the castle — Flight of the Maharao and party • 
Reception at Bundi — ^Tlie Maharao’s second brother joins the 
Regent— Gordhandas’ attempt to join the Maharao frustrated 


xiii 


PAGE 


1569 


1577 



XIV 


CONTENTS 


PAr.E 


— The Maharao leaves Bundi — General sympathy for him — 

He arrives at Brindaban — ^Intrigues of Gordhandas and 
superior native officers of the British Government, who 
deceive the Maharao — Returns to Kotah at the head of a 
force — Summons the Haras to his standard — His demands — • 
Supplemental article of the treaty considered — Embarrassing 
conduct of the Regent — The ilaharao refuses all mediation 
— His ultimatum — British troops march — Junction with the 
Regent — Attack the Maliarao — His defeat and flight — ^Death 
of his brother Pirthi Singh — Singular combat — Amnesty pro- 
claimed — The Hara chiefs return to their families — The 
Maharao retires to the temple of Krishna in Mewar — Negotia- 
tion for his return — Satisfactory termination — Reflections on 
these civil wars — Character and death of Zalim Singh 1595 


BOOK XI 

PERSONAL NARRATIVE: UDAIPUR TO 
KHERODA 

CHAPTER 1 

Departure from the valley of Udaipur — Lake of Klieroda — 
Ancient temple of Mandeswar — Bhartewar — Its Jain temples 
— Kheroda— ^'onneeted with the history of the feuds of 
Mewar — Exploits of Sangram Singh — He obtains Kheroda 
— Curious predicament of Jai Singh, the adopted heir of 
Sangram— -Calmness with which political negotiations are 
managed in the East — The agricultural economy of Kheroda 
—Precarious nature of sugar-cultivation — Hinta — Large pro- 
portion of land alienated as religious grants — ^Hinta and 
Dundia established on church-lands — Mandhata Raja — 
Traditions of him — Performed the Aswamedha — His grant of 
Mainar to the Rishis — Grant inscribed on a pillar — Exploit 
of Raj Singh against the Mahrattas — Morwan, boundary of 
the Mewar territory — Reflections on that State — The Author’s 
policy during his official residence there . . . 1621 


CHAPTER 2 

The chief of Hinta — Difficulty of arranging the separation of 
Hinta from the fisc — Anomalous character of its present chief, 
Man Singh Saktawat — His history — Lalji Rawat of Nethara 
—Origin of the Dudia family — -zXdventure of Sangram Singh 
Rana of Mewar — His son, Chandrabhan, and Rana Raj— 
Extraordinary manner in which he acquired Lawa — ^Decline 
of the family— Form of deed of conveyance of lands from the 
lord paramount— Address of Man Singh— Atrocious murder 
ot a Rathor boy — Its singular sequel .... 



CONTENTS 


XV 


CHAPTER 3 

PAGE 

orwan — The solitude of tliis fine district — Caused by the 
Mahrattas and their mercenaries — Impolicy of our conduct 
towards the Mahrattas — Antiquities of Morwan — Tradition 
of the foundation and destruction of the ancient city — 
Inscriptions — Jain temple — Game — Attack by a tiger — 
Sudden change of the weather — Destructive frost — Legend 
of a temple of Mama-devi — Important inscription — Distress 
of the peasantry — Gratitude of the people to the author — 
Nikumbh — Oppression of the peasants — Marla — Inhabited 
by Charans — Reception of the Author — Curious privilege of 
t(ie Charanis — Its origin— Traditional account of the settle- 
ment of this colony in Mewar — Imprecation of Satis — ^The 
tandas, or caravans — Their immunity from plunder and ex- 
tortion — ^Nimbahera — -Ranikhera — Indignity committed by 
a scavenger of Laisrawan — Sentence upon the culprit — ■ 
Tablet to a Silpi — Reception at Nimbahera . . . 1646 


CHAPTER 4 

The Patar or Table-land of Central India — View from thence — ■ « 
Project of a cairal — Its advantages to Mewar — Utility of 
further works to the people — Traces of superstition in the 
Pathar — Temple of Sukhdeo — ^The Daityu-ka-har, or ’ Giant's 
bone ’ — The Vira-jhamp, or ‘ Warrior's Leap ’ — Proprietor- 
ship of the Patar — Its products — The poppy — Pernicious 
effects of its increased cultivation — Account of the introduc- 
tion and mode of culture of opium — Original spot of its 
cultivation — The manufacture of opium kept pace with the 
depopulation of Mewar — Process of cultivation, and of manu- 
facture — Its fluctuation of price — Adulterated opium of 
Kanthal — Evil consequences of the use of opium — Duty of 
the paramount power to restrict the culture — Practicability 
of such a measure — Distribution of crops — Impolicy of our 
Government in respect to the opium monopoly . . 1660 


CHAPTER 5 

Jhareswar — Ratangarh Kheri — Colony of Charans — Little Atoa 
— Inscription at Paragarh — ^Dungar Singh — Sheo Singh — 

Law of adoption — Kala Mcgh — Ummedpura and its chief 
— Singoli — Temple of Bhavani — ^Tablet of Rana Mokal — 
Traditionary tales of the Haras — Alu Hara of Bumbaoda 
Dangarmau — Singular effects produced by the sun on the 
atmosphere of the Patar ..... 1672 



XVI 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 6 

PAr.E 

Bhainsrorgarh — Cairn of a Rajput — Raghunath Singli of Bhains- 
ror — Castle of Bhainsror — Passage forced by the Chambal 
through the Plateau — Origin and etymology of Bhainsror — 

— Charans, the carriers of Rajwara — The young chief of 
Mewa becomes the champion of Mewar— Avenges the Rana’s 
feud with Jaisalmer, and obtains Bhainsror — ^Tragical death 
of his Thakurani, niece of the Rana — ^He is banished — The 
Pramar chiefs of Bhainsror — Cause of their expulsion — Lai 
Singh Chondawat obtains Bhainsror — Assassinates his friend 
the Rana’s uncle — Man Singh, his son, succeeds — Is taken 
prisoner — Singular escape — Reflections on the policy of the 
*■ British Giovernment towards these people — Antiquities and 
inscriptions at Bhainsror — ^Dabhi — V’iew from the pass at 
Nasera — Rajput cairns — Tomb of a bard — Sentiments of the 
people on the effects of our interference — Their gratitude 
— Cairn of a Bhatti chief — Karipur — Depopulated state of the 
country — Inscriptions at Sontra — Bhil temple — Ruins — The 
Holi festival — Kotah, its appearance .... 1687 


CHAPTER 7 

Unhealthiness of the season at Kotah — Eventful character of the 
. period of the Author's residence there — The cuckoo — Descrip- 
tion of the encampment — Cenotaphs of the Haras — Severe 
tax upon the curiosity of travellers in Kotah — General in- 
salubrity of Kotah — Wells infected — Productive of fever — 
Taking leave of the Maharao and Regent— The Regent’s 
sorrow — Cross the Chambal — Restive elephant — Kanari — - 
Regent’s patrimonial estate — Nanta — Author's recei)tion by 
Madho .Singh — Rajput music — ^The Panjabi tappa— Scene of 
the early recreations of Zalim Singh — Talera — Nawagaon — 
Approach of the Raja of Bundi — Splendour of the cortege — 
Bundi — The castellated palace, or Bundi ka mahall — Visit to 
the Raja — Illness of our party — Quit Bundi — Cenotaphs in 
the village of Satur — The tutelary deity, Asapurna — Temple 
of Bhavani — Banks of the Mej — ^Thana— Inscriptions — 
Jahazpur — Respectable suite of the Basai chief . . 1701 


CHAPTER 8 

Extraordinary attack of illness in the Author — Suspicion of poison 
— Journey to Mandalgarh — The Karar — ^Tranquil state of 
the country — ^The Minas subsiding into peaceful subjects — 
Scenery in the route — Sasan, or ecclesiastical lands — Castle 
of Amargarh — Kachaura — Its ancient importance — Our true 
policy with regard to the feudatories in these parts — -Damnia 
— Manpura — Signs of reviving prosperity — Arrival at Mandal- 
garh — The Dasahra — Sickness of the party left behind — 
Assembly of the Bhumias and Patels — Description of Mandal- 



CONTENTS 

garh — Rebuilt by one of the Takshak race — ^Legend of 
Mandalgarh — Genealogical tablet of stone — Pedigrees of the 
tribes — Mandalgarh granted to the Rathors by Aurangzeb — 
Recovered by the Rana — Taxes imposed — ^Lavish grants — 
Baghit — The Author rejoins his party — -Barslabas — Akola — 
Desolation of the country — Inscriptions — Hamirgarh — 
Siyana — Superb landscape — Mirage — ^Testimony of gratitude 
from the elders of Pur — Thri^ng state of Marauli — Rasmi — 
Antiquities — Curious law — Jasma — Waste country — In- 
scriptions — Copper mines — Sanwar — Tribeni, or point of 
junction of three rivers — Temple of Parsvanath — Deserted 
state of the country — Karera — Maoli — Barren country — 
Hunting seat of Nahra-JIagra — Heights of Tus and Merta — 
End of second journey ...... 


CHAPTER 9 

The Author obliged to take a journey to Bundi — Cause of the 
journey — Sudden death of the Rao Raja, who left his son to 
the Author’s care — The cholera morbus, or mari — Its ravages 
— Curious expedient to exclude it from Kotah and Bundi— 
Bad weather — Death of the Author’s elephant — ^Pahona — 
Bhilwara — Gratifying reception of the Author — State of the 
town contrasted with its former condition — Projects for its 
further improvement — Reflections on its rise — Jahazpur — 
Difficulties of the road — Arrival at Bundi — The aspect of the 
court — Inter\’iew with the young Rao Raja — .Attentions paid 
to the Author ....... 


CHAPTER 10 

Ceremony of Rajtilak, or inauguration — Personal qualities of the 
Rao Raja and his brothers — The installation — The tilak fiist 
made by the Author, as representative of the British Govern- 
ment — Ceremonies — Message from the queen - mother — 
Balwant Rao, of Gotra — The Bohra, or chief minister — Power 
and disposition of these two officers — Arrangements made by 
the Author — Interview and conversation with the Rani — 
Literary and historical researches of the Author — Reveiiues of 
Bundi — Its prospects — Departure for Kotah — Condition of 
the junior branches of the Haras — Rauta — Grand hunts in 
Haraoti 


CHAPTER 11 

Pass of Mukunddarra — View from the summit of the pass into 
• Pachel — Marks set up by the Banjaras — Monastery of Atits, 
or Jogis — ^Their savage aspect — ^The author elected a chela— 
The head of the establishment — ^His legend of the origin of 
the epithet Sesodia — The grand temple of Barolli Conjecture 
as to its founder — Barolli . . • • • 


xvii 

PAGE 


1710 


1732 


1740 


1750 



xviii 


CONTENTS 


CHAPTER 12 

rv'.i 

The Chillis, or whirlpools of the Chambal — Grandeur of the scene — 
Description of the falls and rocks of the Chambal in this part 
— The remarkable narrowness of its bed — The roris, or stones 
found in the whirlpools — Visit to Gangabheva — Its magnifi- 
cent temple and shrines — ^The details of their architecture — 

The main temple more modem than the shrines around it — 
Dilapidation of these fine specimens of art — -Effects of vege- 
tation— The gigantic aniarvela — Naoli — Takaji-ka-kund, 
or fountain of the snake-king — Fragments of sculpture — 
Mausoleum of Jaswant Rao Holkar — Holkar’s horse — His 
elephant — Bhanpura — Tranquillity and prosperity of these 
parts — Garot — ^Traces of King Satal Fatal, of the era of the 
Pandus — Agates and cornelians — The caves of Dhumnar — 
Description of the caves and temples — Explanation of the 
figures — Jain symbols on one side of the caves. Brahman 
on the other — Statues of the Jain pontiffs — Bhim’s bazar . 1764 


CHAPTER 13 

Route over the ground of Monson’s retreat — Battle of Pipli — 
Heroism of Amur Singh Hara, chief of Koila — Conduct of 
General Monson — Pachpahar — Kanwara — Thriving aspect 
of the country — Jhalrapatan — ^Temples — Commercial im- 
munities of the city — Judicious measures of the Regent in 
establisliing this mart — Public visit of the (ommunity of 
Patan — The ancient city — ^Legends of its foundation — Pro- 
fusion of ancient ruins — Fine sculpture and architecture of 
the temples— Inscriptions — Cross the natural boundary of 
Haraoti and Malwa — The Chliaoni of the Kotah Regent — 
Chhaoni of the Pindaris — Gagraun — Xarayanpur — Mukund- 
darra Pass — Inscriptions — Anecdotes of the ‘ Lords of the 
Pass’ — The Chaori of Bhim — Ruins — Ordinances of the 
Hara princes — Return to Kotah — Field sports — Author 
attacked by a bear — Ruins of Kkelgarli . . . 1777 


CHAPTER 14 

Visit to Menal — Definition of the servile comlition termed bcisai — 
Bijolia — Inscriptions — ^Ancient history of Bijolli — Jlvidence 
that the Chauhans wrested the throne of Delhi from the Tuars 
— Jain temples— Inscri|)tions — Saiva temples — Prodigious 

extent of ruins — The Bijolli chief— His daughter a Sati 

Menal, or ftlahanal — Its picturesque site — Records of Pri- 
thiraj, the Chauhan — Inscriptions — Synchronism in an 
enigmatical date March to Begun — Bumbaoda, the castle 
of Alu Hara — ^Legends of that chief— Imprecation of the 
vnrgin Sati— Recollections of the Haras still associated with 
their ancient traditions— Quit Bumbaoda and arrive at Begun 1796 




ILLUSTRATIONS 


N 




Colonel Tod and his Jain Guru .... Frontispiece 

TO FACE PAGE 

Raghubir Siughj Maharao Raja of Buiidi . . . 1441 

City of Kotah from the East ..... 1521 

Country Seat of the Kotah Prince .... 1530 

Palace and Fortress of Bundi ..... 1710 

Fragment from the Ruins of Barolli .... 1752 

Outline of a Temple to Mahadeva at Barolli . . . 1754 

Sculptured Niche on the Exterior of the Temple at Barolli . 1766 

Ceiling of the Portico of Temple at Barolli . . , 1758 

Remains of an Ancient Temple at Barolli, near the Chamhal . 1760 

Temples of Ganga Bheva in the Forest of Pachail in Mewar . 1766 

Smaller Group of Temples of Ganga Bheva . . 1768 

Image of the Snake King at the Fountain of the Amjar . . 1770 

Cave Temples of Dhamnar ..... 1776 

Entrance to the Sanctuary of a Temple at Chaiulravati . . 1784 

Sculptured Foliage in Chandravati Temple . . . 1786 

Sculptured Ceilings of Temple at Chandravati . . . 1788 

Columns of Chandravati Temples .... 1700 

Entrance to the Sanctuary of a Temple at Chandravati . . 1792 

Ruins of Bhim’s Chaori in the Mukunddara Pass . . 1794 

Ancient Columns in the Mukunddara Pass . . . 1796 

Temples of Menal in Mewar ..... 1800 

^ Second Group of Temples of Meiiill in Mewar . . . 1802 

"■ Jaistambha, Pillar of I’ictory ..... 1820 

Columns in the Fortress of Chitor .... 1822 


XXI 



CONTENTS 


XIX 


CHAPTER 15 

PAGE 

Begun — Serious accident to the Author — Afiecting testimony of 
the gratitude of the Rawat — Expulsion of the Mahrattas from 
Begun — ^The estates of the Rawat sequestrated — Restored — 

Basai — Chitor — ‘ Akbar’s Lamp ' — Reflections upon the 
Ruins of Chitor — ^Description of the city, from the Khiunan 
Raesa, and from observation — Tour of the city — Origin of 
the Bagrawat class — Inscriptions — Aged Fakir — Return to 
Udaipur — Conclusion ...... 1810 


APPENDIX 1828 


INDEX 


. 1837 




f ANNALS AND ANTIQUITIES 
OF RAJASTHAN 

BOOK VIII 

SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 
CHAPTER 1 

Having never penetrated personally farther into the heart of 
the desert than Mandor, the ancient capital of all MarusthaU, the 
old castle of Hissar on its north-eastern frontier, and Abu, Nahr- 
wala, and Bhuj, to the south, it may be necessary, before entering 
upon the details, to deprecate the charge of presumption or in- 
competency, by requesting the reader to bear in mind that my 
parties of discovery have traversed it in every direction, adding to 
their journals of routes living testimonies of their accuracy, and 
bringing to me natives of every thal from Bhatner to Umarkot, 
and from Abu to Aror.^ I wish it, however, to be clearly under- 
stood, that I look upon this as a mere outline, which, by showing 
what might be. done, may stimulate further research ; but in the 
existing dearth of information on the subject I have not hesitated 
to send it forth, with its almost inevitable errors, as (I trust) a 
pioneer to more extended and accurate knowledge. 

After premising thus much, let us commence with details, 
which, but for the reasons already stated, should have been 
comprised in the geographical portion of the work, and which, 
though irrelevant to the historical part, are too important to 

^ The journals of all these routes, with others of Central and Western 
India, form eleven moderate-sized folio volumes, from which an itinerary 
of these regions might be constructed. It was my intention to have drawn 
i ^ up a more perfect and detailed map from these, but my health forbids the 
* attempt. They are now deposited in the archives of the Company, and 
may serve, if judiciously used, to fill up the only void in the great map of 
India, executed by their commands. 

VOL. in 1257 


B 



1258 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


be [290] thrown into notes. I may add, that the conclusions 
formed, partly from personal observation, but chiefly from the 
resources described above, have been confirmed by the picture 
drawn by Mr. Elphinstone of his passage tlmough the northern 
desert in the embassy to Kabul, which renders perfectly satis- 
factory to me the ^dews I before entertained. It may be well, at 
this stage, to mention that some slight repetitions must occur as 
we proceed, having incidentally noticed many of the characteristic 
features of the desert in the Annals of Bikaner, which was un- 
avoidable from the position of that State 

Description of the Desert. — ^The hand of Nature has defined, in 
the boldest characters, the limits of the great desert of India, and 
we only require to follow minutely the line of demarcation ; 
though, in order to be distinctly understood, we must repeat the 
analysis of the term Marusthali, the emphatic appellation of this ^ 
‘ region of death.’ The word is compounded of the Sanskrit mri, 

‘ to die,’ and sthala, ‘ arid or dry land,’ which last, in the corrupted 
dialect of those countries, becomes ihal, the converse of the Greek 
oasis, denoting tracts particularly sterile. Each thal has its 
distinct denomination, as the ‘ thal of Kawa,’ the ‘ thal of Guga,’ 
etc. ; and the cultivated spots, compared with these, either as to 
munber or magnitude, are so scanty, that instead of the ancient 
Roman simile, which likened Africa to the leopard’s hide, reckon- 
ing the spots thereon as the oases, I would compare the Indian 
desert to that of the tiger, of which the long dark stripes would 
indicate the expansive belts of sand, elevated upon a plain 
only less sandy, and over whose surface numerous thinly -peopled 
towns and hamlets are scattered. 

Boundaries of the Desert. — ^Marusthali is bounded on the north 
by the flat skirting the Ghara ; on the south by that grand salt- 
marsh, the Ran, and Koliwara ; on the east by the Aravalli ; and 
on the west by the valley of Sind. The two last boundaries are 
the most conspicuous, especially the Aravalli, but for which im- 
pediment Central India would be submerged in sand ; nay, lofty 
and continuous as is this chain, extending almost from the sea to 
Delhi, wherever there are passages or depressions, these floating 
sand-clouds are wafted through or over, and form a little thal even 
in the bosom of fertility. Whoever has crossed the Banas near 
Tonk, where the sand for some miles resembles waves of the 
sea, will comprehend this remark. Its western boundary is alike 


NATURAL DIVISIONS OF THE DESERT 


1259 


I lflned, and will recall to the English traveller, who may be 
estined to journey up the valley of Sind, the words of Napoleon 
n the Libyan desert : “ Nothing so much resembles the sea as 
he desert ; or a coast, as the valley of the Nile ” : for this substi- 
tute ‘ Indus ’ [291], whence in journeying northward along its 
banks from Haidarabad to Uchh, the range of vision will be 
bounded to the east by a bulwark of sand, wliich, rising often to 
the height of two hundred feet above the level of the river, leads 
one to imagine that the chasm, now forming this rich valley, must 
have originated in a sudden melting of all the glaciers of Caucasus, 
whose congregated waters made this break in the continuity of 
Marusthali, which would otherwise be united with the deserts of 
Arachosia 

We may here repeat the tradition illustrating the geography 
of the desert, i.e. that in remote ages it was ruled by princes of 
the Panwar (Pramara) race, which the sloka, or verse of the bard, 
recording the names of the nine fortresses (Nau-koti Maru-ki), so 
admirably adapted by their position to maintain these regions in 
subjection, further corroborates. We shall divest it of its metrical 
form, and begin with Pugal, to the north ; Mandor, in the centre 
of all Maru ; Abu, Kheralu, and Parkar, to the south ; Chhotan, 
Umarkot, Aror, and Lodorva, to the west ; the possession of 
which assuredly marks the sovereignty of the desert. The 
antiquity of this legend is supported by the omission of all modern 
cities, the present capital of the Bhattis not being mentioned. 
Even Lodorva and Aror, cities for ages in ruins, are names known 
only to a few who frequent the desert ; and Chhotan and Kheralu, 
but for the traditional stanzas which excited our research, might 
never have appeared on the map. 

Natural Divisions of the Desert.— We purpose to follow the 
natural divisions of the country, or those employed by the natives, 
who, as stated above, distinguish them as thals ; and after 
describing these in detail, with a summary notice of the principal 
towns whether ruined or existing, and the various tribes, conclude 
with the chief lines of route diverging from, or leading to^ 
Jaisalmer. 

The whole of Bikaner, and that part of Shaikhavati north of 
>.'* the Aravalli, are comprehended in the desert. If the reader will 
refer to the map, and look for the town of Kanod,’ within the 
1 [Kanod Muhindargarh in Patiala State {IQI, xvii. 385).] 



1260 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


British frontier, he will see what Mr. Elphinstone considered as 
the commencement of the desert, in his interesting expedition to 
Kabul.'^ “ From Delly to Canound (the Kanorh of my map), a 
distance of one hundred miles is through the British dominions, 
and need not be described. It is sufficient to say that the country 
is sandy, though not ill cultivated. On approaching Canound, we 
had the first specimen of the desert, to which we were looking 
forward with anxious curiosity. Three miles before reaching 
that place we came to sand-hills, which at first were [292] covered 
with bushes, but afterwards were naked piles of loose sand, rising 
one after another like the waves of the sea, and marked on the 
surface by the wind like drifted snow. There were roads through 
them, made solid by the treading of animals ; but off the road 
our horses sunk into the sand above the knee.” Such was the 
opening scene ; the route of the embassy was by Singhana, 
Jhunjhunu, to Churu, when they entered Bikaner. Of Shaikha- 
vati, which he had just left, Mr. Elphinstone says : “ It seems to 
lose its title to be included in the desert, when compared with the 
two hundred and eighty miles between its western frontier and 
Bahawulpoor, and, even of this, only the last hundred nules is 
absolutely destitute of inhabitants, water, or vegetation. Our 
journey from Shekhavati to Poogul was over hills and valleys of 
loose and heavy sand. The hills were exactly like those which 
are sometimes formed by the wind on the seashore, but far 
exceeding them in height, which was from twenty to a hundred 
feet. They are said to shift their position and alter their shapes 
according as they are affected by the ^vind ; and in summer the 
passage is rendered dangerous by the clouds of moving sand ; but 
when I saw the hills (in winter), they seemed to have a great 
degree of permanence, for they bore grass, besides phoke, the 
babool, and bair or jujube, which altogether give them an appear- 
ance that sometimes amounted to verdure. Amongst the most 
dismal hills of sand one occasionally meets with a village, if such 
a name can be given to a few round huts of straw, with low walls 
and conical roofs, like little stacks of corn.” This description of 
the northern portion of the desert, by an author whose great 
characteristics are accuracy and simplicity, will enable the reader 
to form a more correct notion of what follows.^ 

^ It left Delhi October 13, 1808. 

® “ Our marches,” says Mr. Elphinstone, “ were seldom very long. The 



NATURAL DIVISIONS OF THE DESERT 


1261 


With these remarks, and bearing in mind what has already 
been said of the physiography of these regions, we proceed to 
particularize the various thals and oases in this ‘ region of death.’ 
It will be convenient to disregard the ancient Hindu geographical 
division, which makes Mandor the capital of Marusthah, a distinc- 
tion both from its character and position better suited to Jaisahner, 
being nearly in the centre of what may be termed entire desert. 
It is in fact an oasis, everywhere insulated by immense, masses of 
thal, some of which are forty miles in breadth, without the trace 
of man, or aught that could subsist him. From Jaisahner we 
shall pass to Marwar, and without crossing the Luni, describe 
Jalor and Siwanchi ; then conduct the [293] reader into the 
almost unknown Raj of Parkar and Virawah,*^ governed by 
princes of the Chauhan race, with the title of Rana. Thencev 
skirting the political limits of modern Rajputana, to the regions 
of Dhat and Umra-sumra, now within the dominion of Sind, we 
shall conclude with a very slight sketch of Daudputra, and the 
valley of the Indus. These details will receive further illustration 
from the remarks made on every town or hamlet diverging from 
the ‘ hiU of Jaisal ’ (Jaisahner). Could the beholder, looking 
westward from this ‘ triple-peaked hill,’ ^ across this sandy ocean 
to the blue waters (Nilab) ® of the Indus, embrace in his vision 
its whole course from Haidarabad to Uchh, he would perceive, 
amidst these valleys of sand-hills, little colonies of animated 
beings, congregated on every spot which water renders habitable. 
Throughout this tract, from four hundred to five hundred miles 
in longitudinal extent, and from one hundred to two hundred 
of diagonal breadth, are little hamlets, consisting of the scattered 
huts of the shepherds of the desert, occupied in pasturing their 


longest was twent}'-six mUes, and the shortest fifteen ; but the fatigue 
which our people suffered bore no projKirtion to the distance. Our line, 
when in the closest order, was two miles long. The path by which we 
travelled wound much, to avoid the sand-hills. It was too narrow to allow 
of two camels going abreast ; and if an animal stepped to one side, it sunk 
in the sand as in snow,” etc. etc . — Account of the Kingdom of Caubtil, ed. 
1842, vol. i. p. 11. 

^ [In Sind, on the N. shore of the Great Rann, about 10 miles from 
Nagar-Parkar.] 

Trikuta, the epithet bestowed on the rock on which the castle of 
Jaisalmer is erected. 

^ A name often given by Perishta to the Indus. 



1262 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


flocks or cultivating these little oases for food. He may discern 
a long line of camels (called kitar, a name better known than either 
kafila or karwan), anxiously toiling through the often doubtful 
path, and the Charan conductor, at each stage, tying a knot on 
the end of his turban. He may discover, lying in ambush, a 
band of Sahariyas, the Bedouins of our desert (sahra),^ either 
moimted on camels or horses, on the watch to despoil the caravan, 
or engaged in the less hazardous occupation of driving off the 
flocks of the Rajar or Mangalia shepherds, peacefully tending 
them about the tars or bawas, or hunting for the produce stored 
amidst the huts of the ever-green -jAaZ,- which serve at once as 
grain-pits and shelter from the sun. A migratory band may be 
seen flitting with their flocks from ground which they have 
exhausted, in search of fresh pastures : 

And if the following day they chance to find 
A new repast, or an vuitasted spring, 

Will bless their stars, and think it luxury ! 

Or they may be seen preparing the rabri, a mess quite analogous to 
the kouskous of their Numidian brethren, or quenching their 
thirst from the Wah of their little oasis, of which they maintain 
sovereign possession so long as the pasture lasts, or till they come 
in conflict with some more powerful community. 

Oasis. — We may here pause to consider whether in the bah, 
bawa, or voah, of the Indian desert, may not be found the oasis 
of the Greeks, corrupted by them from el-wah, or, as written by 
Belzoni (in his account of the Libyan desert, while searching for 
the [294] temple of Ammon), Elloah. Of the numerous terms 
used to designate water in these arid regions, as par, rar, tar, dah 
or daha, bah, bawa, wah, all but the latter are chiefly applicable 
to springs or pools of water, while the last {wah), though used 
often in a like sense, applies more to a water-course or stream. 
El-wah, under whatever term, means — ‘ the water.' Again, daha 
or dah is a term in general use for a pool, even not unfrequcntly 
in running streams and large rivers, which, ceasing to flow in 

* [As has been already stated, Sahariya has no connexion with Arabic 
Sahra, ‘ desert.’] 

2 [Jhal, of which there are two varieties, large and small, Salradora 
persica and S. oleoides.) 



OASIS : THE LOST RI\^R OF THE DESERT 1263 


dry weather, leave large stagnant masses, always called dah. 
There are many of the streams of Rajputana, having such pools, 
particularized as hathi-dah, or ‘ elephant -pool,’ denoting a suffi- 
ciency of water even to drown that animal. Now the word dah 
or daha, added to the generic term for water, wah, would make 
wadi (pool of water), the Arabian term for a running stream, and 
commonly used by recent travellers in Africa for these habitable 
spots. If the Greeks took the word wadi from any MS., the 
transposition would be easily accounted for : wadi would be 
written thus and by the addition of a point wazi, 

easily metamorphosed, for a euphonous termination, into oasis.^ 

At the risk of somewhat of repetition, we must here point out 
the few grand features which diversify this sea of sand, and after 
defining the difference between rui and thal, which will frequently 
occur in the itinerary, at once plunge in medias res. 

The Lost River of the Desert. — ^IVe have elsewhere mentioned 
the tradition of the absorption of the Ghaggar river, as one of the 
causes of the comparative depopulation of the northern desert. 
The couplet recording it I could not recall at the time, nor any 


1 When I penned this conjectural etymology, I was not aware that any 
speculation had been made upon this word : I find, however, the late 
M. bangles suggested the derivation of oasis (variously written by the Greeks 
ai^acns, lavis and catjts, 6aats, [a^a^ts is the only' other recognized form]) from 


the Arabic : and Dr. Wait, in a series of interesting etymologies (see 

Asiatic Journal, May 1 830), suggests vasi from qn, ms, 'to inhabit.’ 

Vasi and Pa<ns quasi vasis are almost identical. My friend, Sir W. Ouseley, 


gave me nearly the same signification of Wadi, as appears in John- 

son’s edition of Richardson, namety, a valley, a desert, a channel of a river — ■ 


a river ; 




C wadi-al-kabir, ‘ the great river,’ corrupted into Guadal- 


quiver, which example is also given in d’Herbelot (see Vadi Geiiennem), and 
by Thompson, who traces the word tenter through all the languages of 
Europe — the Saxon tcaeter, the Greek vdap, the Islandic udr, the Slavonic 
u-od (whence wodcr and oder, ' a river ’) : aU appear derivable from the 
Arabic wad, ' a river ’ — or the Sanskrit icah ; and if Dr. W. will refer to 
p. 1322 of the Itinerary, he will find a singular confirmation of his etymology 
in the word bas (classically fas) applied to one of the.se habitable spots. The 
word basti, also of frequent occurrence therein, is from basna, to inhabit ; 
msi, an inhabitant ; or vas, a habitation, perhaps derivable from wah, 
indispensable to an oasis ! [The yetc English Diet, gives bat. oasis, Greek 
oao-iv, apparently of Egyptian origin ; cf. Coptic ouahe (whence Egyptian 
Arabic wah), ‘dwelling-place, oasis,’ from ouih, ‘ to dwell.’] 



1264 


SKETCH OP THE INDIAN DESERT 


record of the Sodha prince Hamir, in whose reign this phenomenon 
is said to have happened. But the utility of these ancient 
traditional couplets, to which I have frequently drawn the 
reader’s attention, has again been happUy illustrated, for the 
name of Hamir has been incidentally discovered from the trivial 
circumstance of an intermarriage related in the Bhatti annals. 
His contemporary of Jaisalmer was Dusaj, who succeeded in 
S. 1100 or [295] a.d. 1044, so that we have a precise date assigned, 
supposing this to be the Hamir in question. The Ghaggar, whieh 
rises in the SiwaUk, passes Hansi Hissar, and flowed under the 
walls of Bhatner, at which place they yet have their wells in its 
bed. Thence it passed Rangmahall, Balar, and Phulra, and 
through the flats of Khadal (of which Derawar is the capital), 
emptying itself according to some below Uchh, but according to 
Abu-Barakat (whom I sent to explore in 1809, and who crossed 
the dry bed of a stream called the Khaggar, near Shahgarh)^ 
between Jaisalmer and Rori-Bakhar. If this eould be authentic- 
ated, we should say at once that, united with the branch from 
Dara, it gave its name to the Sangra, which unites with the Luni, 
enlarging the eastern branch of the Delta of the Indus.’ 

The Luni River. — ^The next, and perhaps most remarkable 
feature in the desert, is the Luni, or Salt River, which, with its 
nmnerous feeders, has its source in the springs of the AravaUi. 
Of Marwar it is a barrier between the fertile lands and the desert ; 
and as it leaves this country for the that of the Chauhans, it 
divides that community, and forms a geographical demarcation ; 
the eastern portion being called the Raj of Suigam ; and the 
western part, Parkar, or beyond the Khar, or Luni.“ 

The Bann of Cutch. — We shall hereafter return to the country 
of the Chauhans, which is boimded to the south by that singular 
feature in the physiognomy of the desert, the Rann, or Ran, 
already slightly touched upon in the geographical sketch prefixed 
to this work. This immense salt-marsh, upwards of one hundred 
and fifty mUes in breadth, is formed chiefly by the Luni, which, 
like the Rhone, after forming Lake Leman, resumes its name at 
its further outlet, and ends as it commences with a sacred char- 

’ [See lOI, xii. 212 f. ; E. H. Aitken, Gazetteer of Sind, 4 ; Calcutta 
Beview, 1874 ; JBAS, xxv. 49 if.] 

® [The derivation of Parkar is unknown ; that suggested in the text is 
impossible.] 



THAL, RtJl : THAL OF THE LUNI 


1265 


acter, having the temple of Narayan ‘ at its embouchure, where 
it mingles with the ocean, and that of Brahma at its source of 
Pushkar. The Rann, or Ran, is a corruption of Aranya, or ‘ the 
waste ’ ; ^ nor can anything in nature be more dreary in the dry 
T weather than this parched desert of salt and mud, the peculiar 
abode of the khar-gadha, or wUd-ass, whose love of solitude has 
been commemorated by an immortal pen.* That this enormous 
depository of salt is of no recent formation we are informed by the 
Greek writers, whose notice it did not escape, and who have 
preserved in Erinos a nearer approximation to the original 
Aranya than exists in our Ran or Rann. Although mainly 
indebted to the Luni for its salt, whose bed and that of its feeders 
are covered with saline deposits, it is also supplied by the over- 
flowings of the Indus, to which grand stream it may be indebted 
^ for its volume of water. We have here another strong point of 
physical resemblance between the valleys of the Indus and the 
Nile, which Napoleon [296] at once referred to the simple opera- 
tions of nature ; I allude to the origin of Lake jMoeris, a design 
too vast for man.* 

Thai, RuL — As the reader will often meet with the words thal 
and rui, he should be acquainted with the distinction between 
them. The first means an arid and bare desert ; the other is 
equally expressive of desert, but implies the presence of natural 
vegetation ; in fact, the jungle of the desert. 

Thai of the Luni. — This embraces the tracts on both sides of 
the river, forming Jalor and its dependencies. Although the 
region south of the stream cannot be included in the thal, yet it 

* [Narayansar, an important place of pilgrimage, with interesting 
temples, ia situated at the Kori entrance of the W- Rann {BQ, v. 245 fi.).] 

* [Or irina. Yule, Hobson- Jobson, 2nd ed. 774.] 

* [Equus hemionus (Blanford, Mammalia of India, 470 f. ; Job xxxix. 
5 If.).] 

■* " The greatest breadth of the valley of the Nile is four leagues, the 
least, one ” ; so that the narrowest portion of the valley of Surd equals the 
largest of the Nile. Egypt alone is said to have had eight millions of 
inhabitants ; what then might Sind mamtain ! The condition of the 
peasantry, as described by Bourrienne, is exactly that of Rajputana ; “ The 
villages are fiefs belonging to any one on whom the prince may bestow 
them ; the peasantry' pay a tax to their superior, and are the actual pro- 
lirietors of the soil ; amidst all the revolutions and commotions, their 
privileges are not infringed.” This right (still obtaining), taken away by 
Joseph, was restored by Sesostris. 



1266 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


is so intimately connected with it, that we shall not forego the 
only opportunity we may have of noticing it. 

J^or. — This tract is one of the most important divisions of 
Marwar. It is separated from Siwanchi by the Sukri and Khari,* 
which, with many smaller streams, flow through them from the 
Aravalli and Abu, aiding to fertilize its three hundred and sixty 
towns and Aullages, forming a part of the fiscal domains of Marwar. 
Jalor, according to the geographical stanza so often quoted, was 
one of the ‘ nine castles of Maru,’ when the Pramar held para- 
mount rule in Marusthali. When it was wrested from them we 
have no clue to discover ; - but it had long been held by the 
Chauhans, whose celebrated defence of their capital against 
Alau-d-din, in A.n. 1301, is recorded by Ferishta, as well as in the 
chronicles of their bards. This branch of the Chauhan race was 
called Mallani, and will be again noticed, both here and in the 
annals of Haraoti. It formed that portion of the Chauhan 
sovereignty called the Hapa Raj, whose capital was Juna-Chhotan, 
connecting the sway of this race in the countries along the Luni 
from Ajmer to Parkar, which would appear to have crushed its 
Agnikula brother, the Pramar, and possessed all that region 
marked by the course of the ‘ Salt River ’ to Parkar. 

Sonagir, the ‘ golden mount,’ is the more ancient name of this 
castle, and was adopted by the Chauhans as distinctive of their 
tribe, when the older term, Mallani, was dropped for Sonigira. 
Here they enshrined their tutelary divinity, Mallinath, ‘ god of 
the Malli,’ who maintained his position until the sons of Siahji 
entered these regions, when the name of Sonagir was exchanged 
for that of Jalor, contracted from Jalandharnath, whose shrine 
is about a coss west of the castle. Whether Jalandharnath [297], 
the ‘ divinity of Jalandhar,’ was imported from the Ganges, or 
left as well as the god of the Malli by the ci-devant Mallanis, is 
uncertain ; but should this prove to be a remnant of the foes of 
Alexander, driven by him from Midtan,® its probability is increased 

^ Another salt river. 

^ [The Chauhan Bao Kirttipal took it from the Pramaras towards the 
end of the twelfth century, and Kanardeo Chauhan lost it to Alau-d-din 
(Erskine iii. A. 199 f.). In Briggs’ translation of Ferishta (i. 370) the place 
is called Jalwar, and the King Nahardeo.] 

“ Multan and Juna (Chhotan, qa. Chauhan-tau ?) have the same significa- 
tion, ‘ the ancient abode,’ and both were occupied by the tribe of Malli or 
Mallani, said to be of Chauhan race; and it is curious to find at Jalor 



JALOR 


1267 


by the caves of Jalandhar (so celebrated as a Hindu pilgrimage 
even in Babur's time) being in their vicinity. Be this as it may, 
the Rathors, like the Roman conquerors, have added these indi- 
genous divinities to their own pantheon. The descendants of 
1 the expatriated Sonigiras now occupy the lands of Chitalwana, 
near the f urea of the Luni. 

Jalor comprehends the inferior districts of Siwanchi, Bhinmal, 
Sanehor, Morsin, all attached to the khalisa or fisc ; besides the 
great pattayats, or chieftainships, of Bhadrajan, Mewa, Jasola, 
and Sindari — a tract of ninety miles in length, and nearly the 
same in breadth, with fair soil, water near the surface, and 
requiring only good government to make it as productive as any 
of its magnitude in these regions, and sufficient to defray the 
whole personal expenses of the Rajas of Jodhpur, or about nine 
lakhs of rupees ; but in consequence of the anarchy of the capital, 
the corruption of the managers, and the raids of the Sahariyas 
of the desert and the Minas of Abu and the Aravalli, it is deplorably 
deteriorated. There are several ridges (on one of which is the 
castle) traversing the district, but none uniting with the table-land 
of Mewar, though with breaks it may be traced to near Abu. In 
one point it shows its affinity to the desert, i.e. in its vegetable 
productions, for it has no other timber than the jhal, the babul, 
the karil, and other shrubs of the lhal. 

The important fortress of Jalor, guarding the southern frontier 
of Marwar, stands on the extremity of the range extending north 
to Siwana. It is from three to four himdred feet in height, 
fortified with a wall and bastions, on some of which cannon are 
* mounted. It has four gates ; that from the town is called the 
Suraj-pol, and to the north-west is the Bal-pol (‘ the gate of Bal,’ 
the sun-god), where there is a shrine of the Jain pontiff, Pars- 
vanath. There are many wells, and two considerable baoris, or 
reservoirs of good water, and to the north a small lake formed by 
damming up the streams from the hills ; but the water seldom 
lasts above half the year. The town [298], which contains three 


f ( classically Jalandhar) the same divinities as in their haunts in the Panjab, 
namely, MaUinath, Jalandhamath, and Balnath. Abu-1 Fazl says, “ The 
* cell of Balnath is in the middle of Sindsacar” ; ami Babur (Elliot -Dowson 
^ ii. 450, iv. 240, 415, v. 1 14. Ain, ii. 315) places " B.alnatli-jogi below the hill 
of Jud, live inarches east of the Indus,’ the very spot claimed by the Yadus, 
when led out of India by their deified leader Baldeo, or Balnath. 


1 



1268 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


thousand and seventeen houses, extends on the north and eastern 
side of the fort, having the Sukri flowing about a nulc east of it. 
It has a circumvallation as well as the castle, having guns for its 
defence ; and is inhabited by every variety of tribe, though, - 
strange to say, there are only five families of Rajputs in its piotley 
population. The following census was made by one of my 
parties, in a.d. 1813 : 

Houses. 


Malis, or gardeners ...... 140 

Telis, or oilmen, here called Ghanchi . . . 106 

Kumhars, or potters ..... 60 

Thatheras, or braziers ..... 30 

Chhipis, or printers ...... 20 

Bankers, merchants, and shopkeepers . . 1156 

Musalman families ...... 936 

Khatiks, or butchers ..... 20 

Nais, or barbers ...... 16 

Kalals, or spirit-distillers ..... 20 

Weavers ....... 100 

SUk weavers ....... 15 

Yatis (Jain priests) ...... 2 

Brahmans ....... 100 

Gujars ........ 40 

Rajputs ........ 5 

Bhojaks ^ ....... 20 

]\Iinas ........ 60 

Bhils ........ 15 

Sweetmeat shops ...... 8 

Ironsmiths and carpenters {Lohars and Sutars) . 14 

Churiwalas, or bracelet-manufacturers . . 4 


The general accuracy of this census was confirmed. 

Siwana. — Siwanchi is the tract between the Luni and Sukri, 
of which Siwana, a strong castle placed on the extremity of the 
same range with Jalor, is the capital. The country requires no 
particular description, being of the same nature as that just 
depicted. In former times it constituted, together with Nagor, 
the appanage of the heir-apparent of Marwar ; but since the 

1 [Bhojak, ‘ a feeder,’ a term usually applied to those Brahmans who are 
fed after a death, in order to pass on the food to the spirit.] 



DIVISIONS OF THE DESERT 


1269 


etting-up of the pretender, Dhonkal Singh, both have been 
ittached to the fisc : in fact, there is no heir to Maru ! Ferishta 
mentions the defence of Siwana against the arms of Alau-d-dind 

Machola, Morsin. — Machola and Morsin are the two principal 
, dependencies of Jalor within the Luni, the former having a strong 
castle guarding its south-east frontier against the [299] depreda- 
tions of the Minas ; the latter, which has also a fort and town of 
five hundred houses, is on the western extremity of Jalor. 

Bhinmal, Sanchor. — Bhinmal and Sanchor are the two prin- 
cipal subdivisions to the south, and together nearly equal the 
remainder of the province, each containing eighty villages. These 
towns are on the high-road to Cuteh and Gujarat, which has given 
them from the most remote times a commercial celebrity. Bhin- 
mal is said to contain fifteen himdred houses, and Sanchor about 
half the number.^ Very wealthy Mahajans, or ‘ merchants,’ used 
to reside here, but insecurity both within and without has much 
injured these cities, the first of which has its name, Mai (not Mahl, 
as in the map), from its wealth as a mart.“ There is a temple of 
Baraha (Varaha, the incarnation of the hog), with a great sculp- 
tured boar. Sanchor possesses also a distinct celebrity from being 
the cradle of a class of Brahmans called Sanchora, who are the 
officiating priests of some of the most celebrated temples in these 
regions, as that of Dwarka, Mathura, Pushkar, Nagar-Parkar, 
etc.* The name of Sanchor is corrupted from Satipura, Sati, or 
Suttee’s town, said to be very ancient. 

Bhadrajan. — A sUght notice is due to the principal fiefs of 
Jalor, as well as the fiscal towns of this domain. Bhadrajan is a 
1 town of five hundred houses (three-fourths of which are of the 
Mina class), situated in the midst of a cluster of hills, having a 
small fort. The chief is of the Jodha clan ; Ifis fief connects 
Jalor with Pali in Godwar. 

Mewa. — Mewa is a celebrated little tract on both banks of the 
Luni, and one of the first possessions of the* Rathors. It is. 




* [Ferishta (i. 369) calls the Raja Sitaldeo ; AmIr Khusru (Elliot-Dowson 
iii. 78, o.'iO, v. 166) Sutaldeo.] 

* [The population of these towns is now respectively 4545 and 2066.] 

® [The old name was Sriiual or Rhdlamala, which Erakine (iii. A. 194) 
identifies with Pi-lo-mo-lo of Hiuen Tsiang. But Beal (Buddhist Records 
of the Western World, ii. 270) transliterates this name as Bahner or Barmer.] 

* [For the Sachora or Sanchora Brahmans see BO, ix. Part i. 18 ; Erskine 
iii. A. 84.] 



1270 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


properly speaking, in Siwanchi, to which it pays a tribute, besides 
serviee when required. The chief of Mewa has the title of Rawal, 
and his usual residenee is the town of Jasol. Surat Singh is the 
present chief ; his relative, Surajmall, holds the same title, and 
the fief and castle of Sandri, also on the Lunl, twenty-two miles 
south of Jasol. A feud reigns between them ; they claim co-equal 
rights, and the consequence is that neither can reside at Mewa, 
the capital of the domain. Both chiefs deemed the profession of 
robber no disgrace, when this memoir was witten (1813) ; but it 
is to be hoped they have seen the danger, if not the error, of their 
ways, and will turn to cultivating the fertile tracts along the 
‘ Salt River,’ which yield wheat, juar, and bajra in abundance. 

B^otra, I^waia. — Balotra, Tilwara, are two celebrated names 
in the geography of this region, and have an annual fair, as re- 
nowned in Rajputana as that of Leipsic in Germany. Though 
called the Balotra mela (literally, ‘ an assemblage, or [300] concourse 
of people ’), it was held at Tilwara, several mUes south, ^ near an 
island of the Luni, which is sanctified by a shrine of MaUinath, 
‘ the divinity of the MaUi,’ who, as already mentioned, is now the 
patron god of the Rathors. Tilwara forms the fief of another 
relative of the Mewa family, and Balotra. which ought to belong 
to the fisc, did and may still belong to Awa, the chief noble of 
Marwar. But Balotra and Sandri have other claims to distinction, 
having, with the original estate of Dunara, formed the fief of 
Durgadas, the first character in the annals of Maru, and whose 
descendant yet occupies Sandri. The fief of Mewa, w'hich includes 
them all, was rated at fifty thousand rupees annually. The 
Pattayats with their vassalage occasionally go to court, but hold 
themselves exempt from service except on emergencies. The 
call upon them is chiefly for the defence of the frontier, of wdiich 
they are the Simiswara, or lord-marchers. 

indbavati. — This tract, which has its name from the Rajput 
tribe of Indha, the chief branch of the Parihars (the ancient 
sovereigns of Mandor), extends from Balotra north, and west of 
the capital, Jodhpur; and is bounded on the north by the thal of 
Guga. The thal of Indhavati embraces a spape of about thirty 
coss in circumference. 

Gugadeo ka Thai. — The thal of Guga, a name celebrated in the 
heroic history of the Chauhans, is immediately north of Indhavati, 
^ [Tilwara is about 10 miles W. of Balotra ] 


DIVISIONS OF THE DESERT 


1271 


nd one description will suit both. The sand-ridges {thal-ka-iiba) 
re very lofty in all this tract ; very thinly inhabited ; few 
.ullages ; water far from the surface, and having considerable 
jungles. Tob, Phalsund, and Bimasar are the chief towns in this 
riii. They collect rain-water in reservoirs called tanka, which 
they are obliged to use sparingly, and often while a mass of 
corruption, producing that peculiar disease in the eyes ealled 
rataiindha (eorrupted by us to rotunda) or night-blindness,^ for 
with the return of day it passes off. 

• Tararoi. — The that of Tararoi intervenes between that of 
Gugadeo and the present frontier of Jaisalmer, to which it for- 
merly belonged.- Pokaran is the chief town, not of Tararoi only, 
but of all the desert interposed between the two chief capitals of 
Marusthali. The southern part of this that does not differ from 
that described, but its northern portion, and more especially for 
sixteen to twenty miles around the city of Pokaran, are low 
disconnected ridges of loose rock, the continuation of that on 
which stands the capital of the Bhattis, which give, as we have 
already said, to this oasis the epithet of Mer, or rocky. The name 
of Tararoi is derived from tar, which signifies moisture, humidity 
[301] from springs, or the springs themselves, which rise from 
this rui. Pokaran, the residence of Salim Singh (into the history 
of whose family vre have so fully entered in the Annals of Marwar), 
is a town of two thousand houses, surrounded by a stone wall, 
and having a fort, mounting several guns on its eastern side. 
Under the west side of the town, the inhabitants have the unusual 
sight in these regions of running water, though only in the rainy 

• season, for it is soon absorbed by the sands. Some say it comes 
from the Sar of Kanod, others from the springs in the ridge ; at 
all events, they derive a good and plentiful supply of water from 
the wells exeavated in its bed. The chief of Pokaran, besides its 
twenty-four villages, holds lands between the Luni and Bandi 
rivers to the amount of a lakh of rupees. Dunara and Manzil, 
the fief of the loyal Durgadas, are now in the hands of the traitor 

1 It is asserted by the natives to be caused by a small thread-like worm, 
which also forms in the eyes of horses. I have seen it in the horse, moving 
■ about with great velocity. They puncture and discharge it with the aqueous 
humour. 

* [The name Tararoi seems to have disappeared from the maps, the 
tract being now known as Sankra.] 



1272 


SKETCH OF THE INDI.\N DESERT 


Salim. Three coss to the north of Pokaran is the village of 
Ramdeora, so named from a shrine to Ramdeo, one of the Paladins 
of the desert, and which attracts people from all quarters to the 
Mela, or fair, held in the rainy month of Bhadon.^ Merchants 
from Karachi-bandar, Tatta, Multan, Shikarpur, and Cutch here 
exchange the produce of various countries : horses, camels, and 
oxen used also to be reared in great numbers, but the famine of 
1813, and anarchy ever since Raja Man’s accession, added to 
the interminable feuds between the Bhattis and Rathors, have 
checked all this desirable intercourse, which occasionally made 
the very heart of the desert- a scene of joy and activity. 

Khawar. — This thal, lying between Jaisalmer and Barmer, and 
abutting at Girab into the desert of Dhat, is in the most remote 
angle of Marwar. Though thinly inhabited, it possesses several 
considerable places, entitled to the name of towns, in this ‘ abode 
of death.’ Of these, Sheo and Kotra are the most considerable, 
the first containing three hundred, the latter five hundred houses, 
situated upon the ridge of lulls, which may be traced from Bhuj 
to Jaisalmer. Both these towns belong to chiefs of the Rathor 
family, who pay a nominal obedience to the Raja of Jodhpur. 
At no distant period, a smart trade used to be carried on between 
Anhilwara Patan and this region ; but the lawless Sahariyas 
plundered so many kafilas, that it is at length destroyed. Tliey 
find'pasture for numerous flocks of sheep and buffaloes in this 
thal. 

Mallinath, Barmer. — The whole of this region was formerly 
inhabited by a tribe called Malli or Mallani, who, although 
asserted by some to be Rathor in origin, are assuredly Chauhan, 
and of the same stock as the ancient lords of Jima Chhotan. 
Barmer was reckoned, before the last famine, to contain one 
[802] thousand two hundred houses, inhabited by all classes, 
one-fourth of whom were Sanchora Brahmans.® The town is 
situated in the same range as Sheo-Kotra, here two to three 
hundred feet in height. From Sheo to Barmer there is a good 

* [Ramdeora is 12 miles N. of Pokaran. The saint is commonly called 
Ramdeoji or Ramsah Pir.] 

* [Barmer, the ancient name of which is said to be Bahadamer, ‘ hUl fort 
of Bahada,’ is 130 miles W. of Jodhpur city ; its present population is 
6064. Mallinath was son of Rao Salkha, eighth in descent from Siahji, 
founder of Marwar State.] 



KHERDHAR 


1273 


1 of flat intermingled with low tibas of sand, which in favour- 
)le seasons produces enough food for consumption. Padam 
ngh, the Barmer chief, is of the same stock as those of Sheo 
!otra and Jasol ; from the latter they all issue, and he calculates 
^ thirty-four villages in his feudal domain. Formerly, a dani 
• (which is, literally rendered, douanier) resided here to collect the 
transit duties ; but the Sahariyas have rendered this office a 
sinecure, and the chief of Barmer takes the little it realizes to 
himself. They find it more convenient to be on a tolerably good 
. footing with the Bhattis, from whom this tract was conquered, 

’ I than with their own head, whose officers they very often oppose, 
especially when a demand is made upon them for dand ; on which 
occasion they do not disdain to call in the assistance of their 
desert friends, the Sahariyas. Throughout the whole of this 
region they rear great numbers of the best camels, which find a 
ready market in every part of India. 

Eherdhar. — ‘ The land of Kher ’ * has often been mentioned in 
the annals of these States. It was in this distant nook that the 
Rathors first established themselves, expeUing the Gohil tribe, 
which migrated to the Gulf of Cambay, and are now lords of 
Gogha and Bhavnagar ; and instead of steering ‘ the ship of the 
desert ’ in their piracies on the kafllas, plied tlie Great Indian 
Ocean, even “ to the golden coast of Sofala,” in the yet more 
nefarious trade of slaves. It is difficult to learn what latitude 
they affixed to the ‘ land of Kher,’ which in the time of the 
Gohils approximated to the Luni ; nor is it necessary to perplex 
ourselves with such niceties, as we only use the names for the 
purpose of description. In all probability it comprehended the 
whole space afterwards occupied by the Mallani or Chauhans, who 
founded Juna-Chhotan, etc., which we shall therefore include in 
Kherdhar, Kheralu, the chief towm, w'as one of the ‘ nine castles 

* Named in all probability, from the superabundant tree of the desert 
termed Khair, and dJiar^ ‘ land.* It is also called Kheralu, but more pro- 
perly Kherala, ‘ the abode of Khair ’ ; a shrub of great utility in these 
regions. Its astringent pods, similar in appearance to those of the laburnum, 
they convert into food. Its gum is collected as an article of trade ; the 
camels browse upon its twigs, and the wood makes their huts. [Kher is a 
.A ruined village, not far from Jasol, at the point where the Luni River turns 
eastward, KherMu has disappeared from modem maps, if it be not a 
mistake for Keriidu, where there are interesting temples {ASB, West Circle, 
March 31, 1907, pp. 40-43 ; Erskine iii, A. 201).] 

vox,, in ^ 



1274 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


of Maru,’ when the Pramar was its sovereign lord. It 1ms now 
dwindled into an insignificant village, containing no more than 
forty houses, surrounded on all sides bj’ hills “ of a black colour,” 
part of the same chain from Bhuj. 

Juna Chhotan. — Juna Chhotan, or the ‘ ancient ' Chhotan, 
though always conjoined in name, are two [303] distinct places, 
said to be of very great antiquity, and capitals of the Hapa 
sovereignty. But as to what this Hapa Raj was, beyond the bare 
fact of its princes being Chauhan, tradition is now mute. Both 
still present the vestiges of large cities, more especially Juna, 

‘ the ancient,’ which is enclosed in a mass of hiUs, having but one 
inlet, on the east side, where there are the ruins of a small castle 
which defended the entrance. There are likewise the remains 
of two more on the summit of the range. The mouldering 
remnants of mandirs (temples), and boons (reservoirs), now choked 
up, all bear testimony to its extent, which is said to have included 
twelve thousand habitable dwellings ! Now there are not above 
two hundred huts on its site, while Chhotan has shrunk into a 
poor hamlet. At Dhoriman, which is at the farther extremity of 
the range in which are Juna and Chhotan, there is a singular place 
of worship, to which the inhabitants flock on the Hj, or third day 
of Sawan of each year. The patron saint is called Alandeo. 
through whose means some grand victory was obtained by the 
MalT&ni. The immediate objects of veneration are a number of 
brass images called Aswamukhi, from having the ‘ heads of 
horses ’ ranged on the top of a mountain called Alandeo. Whether 
these may further confirm the Scythic ancestry of the Mallani, 
as a branch of the Asi, or Aswa race of Central Asia, can at present 
be only matter of conjecture. 

Nagar Gnrha. — ^Between Barmer and Nagar-Gurha on the 
Luni is one immense continuous thal, or rather riii, containing 
deep jungles of khair, or kher, khejra, karil, khep, phog,* whose 
gums and berries are turned to account by the Bhils and Kolis of 
the southern districts. Nagar and Gurha are two large towns on 
the Luni (described in the itinerary), on the borders of the Chauhan 
raj of Suigam, and formerly part of it. 


4 ' 


■4L 


Here terminate our remarks on the thals of western Marwar 
which, sterile as it is by the hand of Nature, had its miseries 

' [Khair, Acacia catechu ; Khejra, Prosopis spicigera ; Karil, Capparig v 
aphylla ; Khep, Grotolaria burhia ; Phog, CalUgonum polygonoid’es-] 



THE CHAUHAN RAJ 


1275 


f . 

' J^§,^ompleted by the famine that raged generally throughout these 
?J;^regions in S. 1868 (a.d. 1812), and of which this ^ is the third year. 
' > The disorders which we have depicted as prevailing at the seat of 
government for the last thirty years, have left these remote 
regions entirely to the mercy of the desert tribes [304], or their 



own scarce less lawless lords : in fact, it only excites our astonish- 
ment how man can vegetate in such a land, which has nothing 
but a few sars, or salt-lakes, to yield any profit to the proprietors, 
and the excellent camel pastures, more especially in the southern 
tracts, which produce the best breed in the desert. 


CHAPTER 2 


The Chauhan Raj. — This sovereignty (raj) of the Chauhans 
occupies the most remote corner of Rajputana, and its existence 
is now for the first time noticed. As the quality of greatness as 
well as goodness is, in a great measure, relative, the Raj of the 
Chauhans may appear an empire to the lesser chieftains of the 
desert. Externally, it is enwoned, on the north and east, by the 
tracts of the Marwar State we have just been sketching. To the 
south-east it is bounded by Koliwara, to the south hemmed-in 
by the Rann, and to the west by the desert of Dhat. Internally, 
it is partitioned into two distinct governments, the eastern being 
termed Virawah, and the western from its position ‘ across the 
Luni,’ Parkar ; = which appellation, conjoined to Nagar, is also 



' That is, 1814. I am transcribing from my journals of that day, just 
after the return of one of ray parties of discovery from these regions,'bringing 
with them natives of Dhat, who, to use their own simple but expressive 
phraseology, “ had the measure of the desert in the palm of their hands ” ; 
for they had been employed as kasids, or messengers, for thirty years of 
their hves. Two of them afterwanls returned and brought awa}’ their 
families, and remained upwards of five j'ears in my service, and were faithful, 
able, and honest in the duties I assigned them, as jamadars of daks, or 
superintendents of posts, which were for many years under my charge when 
at Sindhia’s court, extending at one time from the Ganges to Bombay, 
through the most savage and little-knowm regions in India. But with such 
men as I drilled to aid in these discoveries, I found nothing insurmountable. 
[The famine of 1812-13 was the most calamitous of the earher visitations 
(Erskine iii. A. 125).] 

^ From pur, ‘ beyond,’ and kar or khar^ synonymous with Luni, the 
‘ salt-river.’ We have several Khari Nadis, or salt-rivulets, in Rajputana, 



1276 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


applied- to the capital, with the distinction of Srinagar, or 
metropolis. This is the Negar-Parker of the distinguished 
Rennel, a place visited at a very early stage of our inter- 
course with these regions by an enterprising EngUshman, named 
Whittington.* 

History of the Chauhans. — The Chauhans of this desert boast 
the great antiquity of their settlement, as well as the nobility of 
their blood : they have only to refer to Manik Rae and Bisaldeo of 
Ajmer, and to Prithiraj, the last Hindu sovereign of Delhi, to 
establish the latter fact ; but the first we must leave to conjecture 
and their bards, though we may [305] fearlessly assert that they 
were posterior to the Sodhas and other branches of the Pramar 
race, who to all appearance were its masters when Alexander 
descended the Indus. Neither is it improbable that the Malli or 
Mallani, whom he expelled in that corner of the Panjab, wrested 
‘ the land of Kher ’ from the Sodhas. At all events, it is certain 
that a chain of Chauhan principalities extended, fronv the eighth 
to the thirteenth century, from Ajmer to the frontiers of Sind, 
of which Ajmer, Nadol, Jalor, Sirohi, and Juna-Chhotan were 
the capitals ; and though all of these in their annals claim to be 
independent, it may be assumed that some kind of obedience was 
paid to Ajmer. We possess inscriptions which justify this asser- 
tion. Moreover, each of them was conspicuous in Muslim history, 
from the time of the conqueror of Ghazni to that of Alau-d-din, 
sumamed ‘ the second Alexander.’ Mahmud, in his twelfth 
expedition, by Multan to Ajmer (whose citadel, Ferishta says, 
“ he was compelled to leave in the hands of the enemy ”),“ passed 
and sacked Nadol (transliterated Buzule) ; ’ and the traditions of 
the desert have preserved the recollection of his visit to Juna- 
Chhotan, and they yet point out the mines by which its castle 


though only one Luni. The sea is frequently caUed the Luna-pani, ' tin 
salt-water,’ or Khara-pani, metamorphosed into Kala-pani, or ‘ the'blacl 
water,’ which is by no means insignificant. [The proposed etymology o: 
Parkar is impossible, and Khara, ‘saline,’ has no connexion with Kala 
black.’] 

* [An account of the travels of Withington or Whithington is given ir 
Purchases Pilgrimes, ed. 1626, i. 483. Mr. W. Foster, who is engaged or 
a new edition, describes the story as interesting, but muddled in history ani 
geography.] •' 


® [Briggs’ trans. i. 69, but compare Elliot-Dowson iv. 180 1 
* [See Vol, II. p. 807.] 



CHIEF TOWNS 


1277 


on the rock was destroyed. IVhether this was after his visitation 
and destruction of Nahrvala (Anhilwara Patan), or while on his 
journey, we have no means of knowing ; but when we recollect 
that in this his last invasion, he attempted to return by Sind, and 
nearly perished with all his army in the desert, we might fairly 
suppose his determination to destroy Juna-Chhotan betrayed him 
into this danger : for besides the all-ruling motive of the conver- 
sion or destruction of the ‘ infidels,’ in aU hkelihood the expatriated 
princes of Nahrvala had sought refuge with the Chauhans amidst 
the sandhills of Kherdhar, and may thus have fallen into his 
grasp. 

Although nominally a single principality, the chieftain of 
Parkar pays little, if any, submission to his superior of Virawah. 
Both of them have the ancient Hindu title of Rana, and are said 
at least to possess the quality of hereditary valour, which is 
synonymous with Chauhan. It is unnecessary to particularize 
the extent in square miles of thal in this raj, or to attempt to 
number its population, which is so fluctuating ; but we shall 
subjoin a brief account of the chief towns, which will aid in 
estimating the population of MarusthaU. We begin with the 
first division. 

Chief Towns. — The principal towns in the Chauhan raj are 
Suigam, Dharanidhar,^ Bakhasar, Tharad, Hotiganv, and Chital- 
wana. Rana Narayan Rao resides alternately at Sui and Bah, 
both large towns surrounded by an abbalis, chiefly of the babul 
and other thorny trees, called, in these regions kantha-ka-kot, 
which has given these simple, but very [306] efficient fortifications 
the term of kantha-ka-kot, or ‘ fort of thorns.’ The resources of 
Narayan Rao, derived from this desert domain, are said to be 
three lakhs of rupees, of which he pays a triennial tribute of one 
lakh to Jodhpur, to which no right exists, and which is rarely 
realized without an army. The tracts watered by the Luni yield 
good crops of the richer grains ; and although, in the dry season, 
there is no constant stream, plenty of sweet water is procured by 
excavating wells in its bed. But it is asserted that, even when 
not continuous, a gentle current is jjerceptible in those detached 
portions or pools, filtrating under the porous sand : a pheno- 

‘ ^ [Dharanidhar, the Kurma or tortoise, ‘ supporter of the earth,’ the 

second incarnation of Vishnu. At Dhema in Tharad a fair is held in honour 
of Dharanidharji (BG, v. 300, 342).] 


1278 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


menon remarked in the bed of the Kunwari River (in the district 
of GwaUor), where, after a perfectly dry space of several miles, 
we have observed in the next portion of water a very perceptible 
current.' 

Nagar Parkat. — Nagar, or Srinagar, the capital of Parkar, is a 
town containing fifteen hundred houses, of which, in 1814, one- 
half were inhabited. There is a small fort to the south-west of 
the town on the ridge, which is said to be about two hundred feet 
high. There are wells and betas (reservoirs) in abundance. The 
river Luni is called seven coss south of Nagar, from which we 
may infer that its bed is distinctly to be traced through the Rann. 
The chief of Parkar assumes the title of Rana, as well as his 
superior of Virawah whose allegiance he has entirely renounced, 
though we are ignorant of the relation in which they ever stood 
to each other : all are of the same family, the Hapa-Raj, of which 
JimaTChhotan was the capital. 

Bakhasai. — Bakhasar ranks next to Srinagar. It was at no 
distant period a large and, for the desert, a flourishing town ; but 
now (1814) it contains but three hundred and sixty inhabited 
dwellings. A son of the Nagar chief resides here, who enjoys, as 
well as his father, the title of Rana. We shall make no further 
mention of the inferior towns, as they will appear in the itinerary. 

Tharad. — Tharad is another subdivision of the Chauhans of 
the Luni whose chief town of the same name is but a few coss to 
the east of Suigam, and which like Parkar is but nominally 
dependent upon it. With this we shall conclude the subject of 
Virawah, which, we repeat, may contain many errors. 

Face of the Chauhaa Raj. — As the itinerary will point out in 
detail the state of the country, it would be superfluous to attempt 
a more minute description here. The same sterile ridge, aheady 
described as passing through Chhotan to Jaisalmer, is to be [307j 
traced two coss west of Bakhasar, and thence to Nagar, in de- 
tached masses. The tracts on both banks of the Lvmi yield good 
crops of wheat and the richer grains, and Virawah, though 
enclosing considerable thal, has a good portion of flat, especially 
towards Radhanpur, seventeen coss from Sui. Beyond the 

' One of my journals mentions that a branch of the Luni passes by Sui, 
the capital of Virawah, where it is four hundred and twelve paces in breadth : 
an error, 1 imagine. [Suigam is on the E. shore of the Rann, and the Luni 
does not pass by it or by Virawah.) 



WATER PRODUCTION: INHABITANTS 


1279 


Luni, the thal rises into lofty tibas : and indeed from Chliotan to 
Bakhasar, all is sterile, and consists of lofty sandhills and broken 
ridges often covered by the sands. 

Water Production. — Throughout the Chauhan raj, or at least 
its most habitable portion, water is obtained at a moderate 
distance from the surface, the wells being from ten to twenty 
pursas,^ or about sixty-five to a hundred and thirty feet in depth ; 
nothing, when compared with those in Dhat, sometimes near 
seven hundred. Besides wheat, on the Luni, the oil-plant (til), 
mung, moth, and other pulses, with bajra, are produced in sufficient 
quantities for internal consumption ; but plunder is the chief 
pursuit throughout this land, in which the lordly Chauhan and 
the Koli menial vie in dexterity. Wherever the soil is least 
calculated for agriculture, there is often abimdance of fine pasture, 
especially for camels, which browse upon a variety of thorny 
shrubs. Sheep and goats are also in great numbers, and bullocks 
and horses of a very good description, which find a ready sale at 
the Tilwara fair. 

lahabitants. — We must describe the descendants, whether of 
the Malli, foe of Alexander, or of the no less heroic Prithiraj, as a 
community of thieves, who used to carry their raids into Sind, 
Gujarat, and Marwar, to avenge themselves on private property 
for the wrongs they suffered from the want of all government, or 
the oppression of those (Jodhpur) who asserted supremacy over, 
and the right to plunder them. All classes are to be found in the 
Chauhan raj : but those predominate, the names of whose tribes 
are synonyms for ‘ robber,’ as the Sahariya, Khosa, KoU, Bhil. 
Although the Chauhan is lord-paramount, a few of whom are to 
be found in every village, yet the Koli and Bhil tribe, with another 
class called Pital,- are the most numerous : the last named, 
though equally low in caste, is the only industrious class in this 
region. Besides cultivation, they make a trade of the gums, 
which they collect in great quantities from the various trees 
whose names have been already mentioned. The Chauhans, 

^ Pursa, the standard measure of the desert, is hi're from six to seven 
feet, or the average height of a man, to the tip of his furger. the hand being 
raised vertically over the head. It is derived from purunh, ' man.’ 

, - [Pital is another name for the Kalbi farming caste, Kalbi being appar- 

ently the local form of the name Kanbi or KunbifCeasns Report, Marwi'tr, 
1891, ii. 343). The caste does not appear in the 1911 Census Report of 
Riijputana.] 


1280 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


like most of these remote Rajput tribes, dispense with the zunnar ‘ 
or janeo, the distinctive thread of a ‘twice-bom tribe,’ and are 
altogether free from [308] the prejudices of those whom associa- 
tion with Brahmans has bound down -with chains of iron. But 
to make amends for this laxity in ceremonials, there is a material * 
amendment in their moral character, in comparison with the 
Chauhans of the purab (east) ; for here the unnatural law of 
infanticide is unknown, in spite of the examples of their neigh- 
bours, the Jarejas, amongst whom it prevails to the most frightful 
extent. In eating, they have no prejudices ; they make no 
chauka, or fireplace ; their cooks are generally of the barber {Nai) 
tribe, and what is left at one meal, they, contrary to all good 
manners, tie up and eat at the next. 

Kolis and Bhils. — The first is the most numerous class in these 
regions, and may be ranked with the most degraded portion of the 
human species. Although they puja aU the symbols of Hindu 
worship, and chiefly the terrific Mata, they scoff at aU laws, 
human or divine, and are httle superior to the brutes of their own 
forests. To them every thing edible is lawful food ; cows, 
buffaloes, the camel, deer, hog ; nor do they even object to such 
as have died a natural death. Like the other debased tribes, 
they affect to have Rajput blood, and call themselves Chauhan 
Koli, Rathor Koli, Parihar Koli, etc., w'hieh only tends to prove 
their illegitimate descent from the aboriginal Koh stock. Almost 
all the cloth-weavers throughout India are of the Koli class, 
though they endeavour to conceal their origin under the term 
Julaha, which ought only to distinguish the Muslim weaver.* 
The Bhils partake of all the vices of the Kofis, and perhaps 
descend one step lower in the scale of humanity ; for they will 
feed on vermin of any kind, foxes, jackals, rats, guanas,* and 
snakes ; and although they make an exception of the camel 
and the pea-fowl, the latter being sacred to Mata, the goddess 
they propitiate, yet in moral degradation their fellowship is com- 
plete. The Kofis and Bhils have no matrimonial intercourse, nor 
will they even eat with each other — such is caste ! The bow 

1 [Arabic zunnar, probably Greek furdpior. The Hindi janeo is Skt 
yajnopavita, the investiture of youths with the sacred thread, and later the 
thread itself.] • 

* [For a full account of the Kolis see BG, ix. Part i. 237 ff.l 

* [Iguanas (Yule, Hobson- Jobson, 2nd ed. 379 f.J 




DHAT AND UMRASClVIRA 1281 


‘=g.J'and arrow form their arras, occasionally swords, but rarely the 
matchlock. 

Pital is the chief husbandman of this region, and, with the 
Bania, the only respectable class. They possess flocks, and are 
■^/"also cultivators, and are said to be almost as numerous as either 
the Bhils or Kolis. The Pital is reputed synonymous with the 
Kurmi of Hindustan and the Kulambi of Malwa and the Deccan. 
There are other tribes, such as the Rabari, or rearer of camels, 
who will be described with the classes appertaining to the whole 
“ desert. 

' Dhat and Umrasumra. — We now take leave of Rajputana, as it 
is, for the desert depending upon Sind, or that space between the 
frontier of Rajputana to the valley [309] of the Indus, on the 
west, and from Daudputra north, to Bahari on the Rann.* This 
space measures about two himdred and twenty miles of longitude, 
and its greatest breadth is eighty ; it is one entire thal, having 
but few 'sdllages, though there are many hamlets of shepherds 
sprinkled over it, too ephemeral to have a place in the map. A 
few of these puras and vas, as they are termed, where the springs 
are perennial, have a name assigned to them, but to miiltiply 
them would only mislead, as they exist no longer than the vegeta- 
tion. The whole of this tract may be characterized as essentially 
desert, having spaces of fifty rmles without a drop of water, and 
without great precaution, impassable. The sandhills rise into 
little mountains, and the wells are so deep, that with a large 
kafila, many might die before the thirst of all could be slaked. 
The enumeration of a lew of these will put the reader in possession 
of one of the difficulties of a journey through Maru ; they range 
from eleven to seventy-five pursa, or seventy to five hundred feet 
in depth. One at Jaisinghdesar, fifty pursa ; Dhot-ki-basti, 
sixty ; Girab, sixty ; Hamirdeora, seventy ; Jinjiniali, seventy- 


five ; Chailak, seventy-five to eighty. 

The Horrors of Humayun’s March. — In what vivid colours 
does the historian Ferishta describe the miseries of the fugitive 
emperor, Ilumayun, and his faithful followers, at one of these 
wells ! “ The country through which they fled being an entire 

lesert of sand, the Moguls were in the utmost distress for water : 
e ran mad ; others fell down dead. For three whole days 

^ [That is to say, from Bahawalpur on the N. to Baliari on the N. shore 
of the Bann of Cutch, a distance, as the crow dies, of some 380 miles.] 




1282 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


there was no water ; on the fourth day they came to a well, which 
was so deep that a drum was beaten, to give notice to the man 
driving the bullocks, that the bucket had reached the top ; but 
the unhappy followers were so impatient for drink, that, so soon 
as the first bucket appeared, several threw thenoselves upon it, 
before it had quite reached the surface, and fell in. The next 
day, they arrived at a brook, and the camels, which had not 
tasted water for several days, were allowed to quench their thirst ; 
but, having drunk to excess, several of them died. The king, 
after enduring unheard-of miseries, at length reached Omurkote 
with only a few attendants. The Raja, who has the title of 
Rana, took compassion on his misfortunes, and spared nothing 
that could alleviate lus sufferings, or console him in his distress.” — 
Briggs’ Ferishta, vol. ii. p. 93.^ 

We are now in the very region where Humayun suffered these 
miseries, and in its chief town, Umarkot, Akbar, the greatest 
monarch India ever knew, first saw the light. Let us throw aside 
the veil which conceals the history of the race of Humayun’s 
protector, and notwithstanding he is now but nominal sovereign 
of Umarkot, and lord [310] of the \nllage of Chor,* give him “ a 
local habitation and a name,” even in the days of the Macedonian 
invader of India. 

Dhat.— Dhat,“ of which Umarkot is the capital, was one of the 
divisions of Marusthali, which from time immemorial was subject 
to the Pramar. Amongst the thirty-five tribes of this the most 
numerous of the races called Agnikula, were the Sodha, the 
Umar, and the Siunra ; * and the conjunction of the two last has 
given a distinctive appellation to the more northern thal, still 
known as Umarsumra, though many centuries have fled since 
they possessed any power. 

Aror, Utnarsumta.— Aror, of which we have already narrated 

1 [The original is condensed. "The lands of the Rathor, who rules 
nine districts, are for the most part all sand ; they have Uttle or no water. 
The wells in some places are so deep that the water is drawn with the heln 
of oxen When water is to be drawn, those who set the animals to work 
heat a drum as a warning that the pot is at the mouth of the well and thev 
are about to draw water ” (Manucci ii. 432).] 

“ [About 15 miles N. of Umarkot. See EUiot-Dowson i. 532.] 

’ [The uame Dhat has disappeared from modem maps, and is not to he 
found in the IGI.} 

‘ See table of tribes, and sketch of the Pramaras, Vol. 1. pp. cjg and 107 





AKOR 


1283 


the discovery, and which is laid down in the map about six miles 
east of Bakhar on the Indus, was in the region styled Umarsumra, 
which may once have had a much wider acceptation, when a 
dynasty of thirty-six princes of the Sumra tribe ruled all these 
^•countries during five hundred years.* On the extinction of its 
power, and the restoration of their ancient rivals, the Sind-Samma 
princes, who in their turn gave way to the Bhattis, this tract 
obtained the epithet of Bhattipoh ; but the ancient and more 
legitimate name, Umarsumra, is yet recognized, and many 
hamlets of shepherds, both of Umars and Sumras, are stUl existing 
amidst its sandhills. To them we shall return, after discussing 
their elder brethren, the Sodhas. We can trace the colonization 
of the Bhattis, the Chawaras, and the Solankis, the Guhilots, and 
the Rathors, throughout all these countries, both of central and 
„• western Rajputana ; and wherever we go, whatever new capital 
is foimded, it is always on the site of a Pramar establishment. 
Pirthi tain na Pramar ka, or * the world is the Pramars,’ * I may 
here repeat, is hardly hyperbolical when applied to the Rajput 
world. 

Aror. — Aror, or Alor as written by Abu-1 Fazl, and described by 
- ■ that celebrated geographer, Ibn-Haukal, as “ rivalling Multan in 
greatness,” was one of the ‘ nine divisions of Maru ’ governed by 
the Pramar, of which we must repeat, one of the chief branches was 
the Sodha. The islandic Bakhar, or Mansura (so named by the 
lieutenant of the Khalif Al-IMansur), a few nailes west of Aror, is 
considered as the capital of the Sogdoi, when Alexander sailed 
down the Indus,® and if we couple the similarity of name to the 
well-authenticated fact of immemorial sovereignty over this 
region, it might not be drawing too Ihrgely on credulity to suggest 
that the Sogdoi and Soda are one and [311] tlie same.* The Sodha 


* Ferishta [iv. Ill], Abu-1 Fazl [Ain, ii. 337, 3-10 if.]. 

[A better version runs ; 

“ Pirthi bard Paiiwdr, Pirthi Pamodrdn tdni ; 

Ek Ujjam Dhar, diije Abu baithno.” 

“ The Panwar the greatest on earth, and the world belongs to the Panwars. 
Their early seats were Ujjain, Dhar, and Mount Abu (Census Report^ 
ildrwdr, 1891, u. 29).] 

> ^ ® [St. Martin fixes the capital of the Sogdoi at Aloe or ±Vror, but Cunning- 

' haul would place it higher up stream, about midway between Alor and 
Uchh, at the village of Sirwahi (McCrindle, Alexander, 354).] 

•* To convince the reader I do not build upon nominal resemblance, when 


1284 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


princes were the patriarchs of the desert when the Bhattis immi- 
grated thither from the north : but whether they deprived them 
of Aror as well as Lodorva, the chronicle does not intimate. It is 
by no means imhkely that the Umars and Sumras, instead of being 
coequal or coeval branches with the Sodha, may be merely subj^ 
divisions of them. 1 

We may follow Abu-1 Fazl and Ferishta in their summaries of 
the history of ancient Sind, and these races. The former says : 

“ In former times, there lived a Raja named SUiaras, whose capital 
was Alor. His sway extended eastward, as far as Kashmir and 
towards the sea to Mekran, while the sea confined it on the south 
and the mountains to the north. An invading army entered the 
country from Persia, in opposing which the Raja lost his life. 
The invaders, contenting themselves with devastating part of the 
territory, returned. Rae Sahi,* the Raja’s son, succeeded his 


localities do not bear me out, be is requested to call to mind, that we have 
elsewhere assigned to the Yadus of the Panjab the honour of furnishing the 
well-known king named Porus ; although the Puar, the usual pronunciation 
of Pramar, would afford a more ready solution. [This is doubtful (Smith, 
EHI, 40 note).] 

^ Colonel Briggs, in his translation [iv. 406], writes it Bully 8a, and in — 
this very place remarks on the “ mutilation of Hindu names by the early 
Mahom^an writers, which are frequently not to be recognized ” ; or, we 
might have learned that the adjunct Sa to HuUy (qu. Heri), the son of 
Sehris, was the badge of his tribe. Soda. The Roy-sahy, or Rae-sa of 
Abulfazil, means ‘ Prince Sa ’ or ‘ Prince of the Sodas.’ Of the same family 
was Dahir, whose capital, in a.h. 99, was (says Abu-1 fazil) “ Alore or DebeU,” 
in which this historian makes a geographical mistake : Alore or Arore being 
the capital of Upper Sinde, and Debeil (correctly Dewul, the temple), or 
Tatta, the capital of Lower Sinde. In all probabUity Dahir held both. We ^ 
have already dilated, in the Annals of Mewar, on a foreign prince named 
“ Dahir Despati,” or the sovereign prince, Dabir, being amongst her de- 
fenders, on the first Mooslem invasion, which we conjectured must have 
been that of Mahomed Kasim, after he had subdued Sinde. Bappa, the 
lord of Cheetore, was nephew of Raja Maun Mori, shewing a double motive 
in the exiled son of Dahir to support Cheetore against his own enemy Kasim. 

The Moris and Sodas were alike branches of the Pramar (see Vol. I. p. 111). 

It is also worth while to draw attention to the remark elsewhere made 
(p. 286) on the stir made by Hejauje of Khorasan (who sent Kasim to Sinde) 
amongst the Hindu princes of Zabulist’han : dislocated facts, aU demon- 
strating one of great importance, namely, the wide dominion of the Rajpoot^' 
race, previous to the appearance of Mahomed. Oriental hterature sustained^ 
a loss which can scarcely be repaired, by the destruction of the valuable ^ 
MSS. amassed by Colonel Briggs, during many years, for the purpose of a 


AROR 


1285 


father, by whose enlightened wisdom and the aid of his intelligent 
minister Ram, justice was imiversally administered and the repose 
of the country secured. ... In the caliphate of Walld bin Abdu'l 
Malik, when Hajjaj was governor of Irak, he dispatched on his 
‘<own authority Muhammad Kasim, his cousin and son-in-law. to 
Sind, who fought Dahir in several engagements. . . . After 
Muhammad Kasim’s death, the sovereignty of this coimtry de- 
volved on the descendants of the Banu Tamlm Ansari. They 
were succeeded by the Sumrah race, who estabhshed their rule, and 
’.r' were followed bj’’ the Sammas, who asserted their descent from 
Jamshid, and each of them assumed the name of Jam.” ^ 

Ferishta gives a similar version. “ On the death of Mahomed 
Kasim, a tribe who trace their origin from the Ansarias established 
a government in Sind ; after which the zamindars [lords of the 
^soU or indigenous chiefs], denominated in their country Soomura, 
usurped the power, and held independent rule over the kingdom 
of Sinde for the space of five hundred years. These [312], the 
Soomuras, subverted the country of another dynasty called 
Soomuna [the Samma of .\bu-l Fazl], whose chief assumed the 
title of Jam.” ^ 

, The difficulty of establishing the identity of these tribes from 
the eacography of both the Greek and Persian writers, is well 
exemplified in another portion of Ferishta, treating of the same 
race, called by him Soomuna, and Samma by Abu-1 Fazl. “ The 
tribe of Salma appears to be of obscure origin, and originally to 
have occupied the tract lying between Bekher and Tatta in Sinde, 
and pretend to trace their origin from Jemshid.” We can pardon 
^ his spelling for his exact location of the tribe, which, whether 
written Soomuna, Sehna, or Seemeh, is the Summa or Samma 
tribe of the great Yadu race, whose capital was Summa-ka-kot, or 
Sammanagari, converted into Minnagara, and its princes into 
. ^ Sambas, by the Greeks.^ Thus the Sodhas appear to have ruled 

«, 

general history of the early transactions of the Mahomedans. [This note 
has been reprinted as it stands in the original text. Many statements must 
be received with caution. See Elliot-Dowson i. 120 ff.] 

' Of the latter stock he gives us a list of seventeen princes. Gladwin’s 
Jpinslation of Ayeen ATcberi, vol. ii. p. 122. [This has been replaced by that 
of Jarrett, Ain, ii. 343 ff.] 

* See Briggs’ Ferishta, vol. iv. pp. 41 1 and 422. 

* [For Minnagara see Vol. T. p. 255 ] 



1286 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


at Aror and Bakhar, or Upper Sind, and the Sammas in the_ lower, ^ 
when Alexander passed through this region. The Jarejas and 
Jams ofNavanagar inSaurashtra claim descent from the Sammas, 
hence called elsewhere by Abu-1 Fazl “ tbe Sind-Samma dynasty ” ; 
but having been, from their amalgamation with the ‘ faithful,’jr^ 
put out of the pale of Hinduism, they desired to conceal their 
Samma-Yadu descent, which they abandoned for Janishid, and 
Samma was converted into Jam.” 

We may, therefore, assume that a prince of the Sodha tribe held 
that division of the great Puar sovereignty, of which Aror, or the 
insular Bakhar, was the capital, when Alexander passed down the 
Indus : nor is it improbable that the army, styled Persian by 
Abu-1 Fazl, which invaded Aror, and slew Raja Siharas, was a 
Graeco-Bactrian army led by Apollodotus, or Menander, who tra- 
versed this region, “ ruled by Sigertides ” (?». Raja Siharas ?) even 
to “ the country of the i'aipa,” or Saurashtra,® where, according to‘ 
their historian, their medals were existent when he wrote in the 
second century.* The histories so largely quoted give us decided 
proof that Dahir, and his son [313] Raesa, the victims of the first 
Islamite invasion led by Kasim, were of the same lineage as Raja 

* The four races called Agnikula (of which the Pramar was the most 
numerous), at every step of ancient Hindu history are seen displacing the 
dynasty of Yadu. Here the struggle between them is corroborated by the 
two best Muhammadan historians, both borrowing from the same source, 
the more ancient histories, few of which have reached us. It must be 
borne in mind that the Sodhas, the Umars, the Sumras, were Pramars 
(vulg. Puar) ; while the Sammas were Y'adus, for whose origin see Annals 
of Jaisalmer, p. 1185 above. 

- [This is very doubtful. See Y'ule, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 447.] 

’ [Sora is supposedtorepresenttheCholaKingdora in S.India(McCriudlc. ’ ~ 

Ptolemy, 64 f.).] 

* Of these, the author was so fortunate as to obtain one of Menander 
and three of Apollodotus, whose existence had heretofore been questioned : 
the first of the latter from the wreck of Surj'apura, the capital of the Siira- 
senakas of Manu [Latvs, ii. 19 , vii. 193 ] and Arrian ; another from the 
ancient Avanti, or Ujjain, whose monarch, according to .lustin, held a 
correspondence with Augustus ; and the third, in company with a whole 
jar of Hindu-Scythic and Bactrian medals, at Agra, which was dug up 
several years since in excavating the site of the more ancient city. This, I 
have elsewhere surmised, might have been the abode of Aggrames, A'wa- 
gram-eswar, the “lord of the city of Agra,” mentioned by Arrian’ as lihe 
most potent monarch in the north of India, who, after the death of Porus,** 
was ready to oppose the further progress of Alexander. Let us hope that ' 
the Panjab may yet afford us another peep into the past. For an account of 
these medals, sec Transactions of the Poyal Asiatic Society, vol. i. p. 313. 



UIVIARKOT 


1287 


Siharas ; and the Bhatti annals prove to demonstration, that at 
this^J^ very period of their settling in the desert, the Sodha tribe 
was paramount (see p. 1185) ; which, together with the strong 
analogies in names of places and princes, affords a very reasonable 
ground for the conclusion we have come to, that the Sodha tribe 
of Puar race was in possession of Upper Sind, when the Macedonian 
passed down the stream ; and that, amidst all the \’icissitudes of 
fortune, it has continued (contesting possession with its ancient 
Yadu antagonist, the Samma) to maintain some portion of its 
„ ancient sovereignty imto these days. Of this portion we shall now 
instruct the reader, after hazarding a passing remark on the almost 
miraculous tenacity which has preserved this race in its desert 
abode during a period of at least two thousand two hundred 
years, ^ bidding defiance to foreign foes, whether Greek, Bactrian, 
or Muhammadan, and even to those visitations of nature, famines, 
pestilence, and earthquakes, which have periodically swept over 
the land, and at length rendered it the scene of desolation it now 
presents ; for in this desert, as in that of Egypt, tradition records 
that its increase has been and still is progressive, as well in the 
valley of the Indus as towards the Jumna. 

Umarkot. — This stronghold (kot) of the Umars, until a very 
few years back, was the capital of the Sodha Raj, which extended, 
two centuries ago, into the valley of Sind, and east to the Luni ; 
but the Rathors of Marwar, and the family at present ruling Sind, 
have together reduced the sovereignty of the Sodhas to a very 
confined spot, and thrust out of Umarkot (the last of the nine 
castles of Maru) the descendant of Siharas, who, from Aror, held 
^ dominions extending from Kashmir to the ocean. Umarkot has 
sadly fallen from its ancient grandeur, and instead of the five 
thousand houses it contained during the opulence of the Sodha 
princes, it hardly reckons two hundred and fifty houses, or rather 
huts.^ The old castle is to the north-west of the town. It is 

fAggrames, King of the Gaiigaridae and Prasii, also known as Xandrames, 
probably the Hindu Chandra, belonged to the Nanda dynasty (Smith, 
EHI, 40 ; McCrindle, Ancient India in Classical Literature, 43).] 

1 Captain, now Colonel, Pottinger, in his interesting work on Sind and 
Baluchistan, in extracting from the Persian work Mu‘jamu-1 Waridat, 
calls the ancient capital of Sind, Ulaor, and mentions the overthrow of the 
, dynasty of ‘ Sahir ’ (the Siharas of Abu-1 Fazl), whose ancestors had 
governed Sind for two thousand years. 

® [The present population is 4924.] 


1288 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


built of brick, and the bastions, said to be eighteen in number, are 
of stone. It has an inner citadel, or rather a fortified ^ftJace. 
There is an old canal to the north of the fort, in which water still 
lodges part of the year. When Raja Man [314] had possession 
of Umarkot, he founded several callages thereimto, to keep up the 
communication. The Talpuris then found it to their interest, so 
long as they had any alarms from their own lord paramount of 
Kandahar, to court the Rathor prince ; but when civil war 
appeared in that region, as well as in Marwar, the cessation of all 
fears from the one, banished the desire of paying court to the 
other, and Umarkot was unhappily placed between the Kalhoras 
of Sind and the Rathors, each of whom looked upon this frontier 
post as the proper limit of his sway, and contended for its 
possession. We shall therefore give an account of a feud between 
these rivals, which finally sealed the fate of the Sodha prince, and 
which may contribute something to the liistory of the ruling 
family of Sind, stUl imperfectly known. 

The Fate of the Sodha Tribe. Assassination of IiGr Bijar. — 
When Bijai Singh ruled Marwar, Miyan Nur Muhammad, Kalhora, 
governed Sind ; but being expelled by an army from Kandahar, 
he fled to Jaisalmer, where he died. The eldest son, Antar Khan, 
and his brothers, foimd refuge with Bahadur Khan Khairani ; 
while a natural brother, named Ghulam Shah, born of a common 
prostitute, found means to establish himself on the masnad at 
Haidarabad. The chiefs of Daudputra espoused the cause of 
Antar Khan, and prepared to expel the usurper. Bahadur Khan, 
Sabzal Khan, Ali Murad, Muhammad Khan, Kaim Khan, Ali 
Khan, chiefs of the Khairani tribe, united, and marched with 
Antar Khan to Haidarabad. Ghulam Shah advanced to meet 
him, and the brothers encountered at Ubaura ^ (see map) ; but 
legitimacy failed : the Khairani chiefs almost all perished, and 
Antar Khan was made prisoner, and confined for life in Gaja-ka- 
kot, an island in the Indus, seven coss south of Haidarabad. 
Ghulam Shah transmitted his masnad to his son Sarfaraz, who, 
dying soon after, was succeeded by Abdul Nabi. At the town of 
Abhaipura, seven coss east of Sheodadpur (a town in Lohri Sind), 
resided a chieftain of the Talpuri tribe, a branch of the Baloch, 
named Goram, who had two sons, named Bijar and Sobhdan. 
Sarfaraz demanded Goram’s daughter to wife ; he was refused. 






^ ' 




1 [In Shikarpur, Sind, near the frontier of Bahawalpur.] 


ASSASSINATION OF MiR BIJAR 


1289 


’‘.|and the whole family was destroyed. Bijar Khan, who alone 
escaped the massacre, raised his clan to avenge him, deposed the 
tyrant, and placed himself upon the masnad of Haidarabad. The 
Kalhoras dispersed ; but Bijar, who was of a violent and imperious 
^'temperament, became involved in hostilities with the Rathors 
i regarding the possession of Umarkot. It is asserted that he not 
only demanded tribute from Marwar, but a daughter of the 
Rathor prince, to wife, setting forth as a precedent his grandfather 
Ajit, who bestowed a wife on Farrukhsiyar. This insult led to a 
pitched battle, fought at Dugara, five eoss from Dharnidhar, in 
which the Baloch [3 15] army was fairly beaten from the field by the 
Rathor ; but Bijai Singh, not content with his victory, determined 
to be rid of this thorn in his side. A Bhatti and Chondawat 
offered their services, and lands being settled on their families, 
^|hey set out on this perUous enterprise in the garb of ambassadors. 
’'\Vhen introduced to Bijar, he arrogantly demanded if the Raja 
had thought better of his demand, when the Chondawat referred 
him to his credentials. .\s Bijar rapidly ran his eye over it, 
muttering “ no mention of the dola (bride),” the dagger of the 
Chondawat was buried in his heart. ” This for the dola," he 
exclaimed ; and “ this for the tribute,” said his comrade, as he 
struck another blow. Bijar fell lifeless on his cushion of state, 
and the assassins, who knew escape was hopeless, plied their 
daggers on all around ; the Chondawat slaying twenty-one, and 
the Bhatti five, before they were hacked to pieces.^ The nephew 
of Bijar Khan, by name f'ateh .\li, son of Sobhdan, was chosen 
his successor, and the old family of Kalhora was dispersed to 
^flfehuj, and Rajputana, while its representative repaired to Kanda- 
har. There the Shah put him at the head of an army of twenty- 
five thousand men, with which he reconquered Sind, and com- 
menced a career of unexampled cruelty. Fateh Ali, who had 
^,^ed to Bhuj, reassembled his adherents, attacked the army of the 
%hah, which he defeated and pursued with great slaughter beyond 
.Shikarpur, of which he took possession, and returned in triumph 
to Haidarabad. The cruel and now humbled Kalhora once more 
appeared before the Shah, who, exasperated at the inglorious 
result of his arms, drove him from his presence ; and after wander- 




, * [By another story, Abda-n-nabi Khan, brother of Ghulam Nabi Khan, 

prince of Sind, assassinated his too snccessfiil general, Mjr Biiar, in A.D. 1781 

f OI, xxii. 399).] 

VOL. Ill D 



1290 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


ing about, he passed from Multan to Jaisalmer, settling at length 
at Pokaran, where he died. The Pokaran chief made himself his 
heir, and it is from the great wealth (chiefly in jewels) of the ex- 
prince of Sind that its chiefs have been enabled to take the lead 
in Marwar. The tomb of the exile is on the north side of the 
to^vn [316].* 

This episode, which properly belongs to the history of Marwar, 
or to Sind, is introduced for the purpose of showing the influence 
of the latter on the destinies of the Sodha princes. It was by 
Bijar, who fell by the emissaries of Bijai Singh, that the Sodha 
Raja was driven from Umarkot, the possession of which brought 
the Sindis into immediate collision with the Bhattis and Rathors. 
But on his assassination and the defeat of the Sind army on the 
Rann, Bijai Singh reinducted the Sodha prince to his gaddi of 
Umarkot ; not, however, long to retain it, for on the invasion from 
Kandahar, this poor country underwent a general massacre and 
pillage by the Afghans, and Umarkot was assaulted and taken. 
When Fateh Ali made head against the army of Kandahar, which 
he was enabled to defeat, partly by the aid of the Rathors, he 







* The memoir adds : Fateh Ali was succeeded by his brother, the present 
Ghulam Ali, and he by his son, Earam .41i. The general correctness of this 
outline is proved by a very interesting work (which has only fallen into my 
hands in time to make this note), entitled Narrative of a Visit to the Court 
of Sinde, by Dr. Bumes. Bijar Khan was minister to the Kalhora rulers of 
Sind, whose cruelties at len^h gave the government to the family of the 
minister. As it is scarcely to be supposed that Kaja Bijai Singh would 
furnish assassins to the Kalhora, who could have little difficulty in finding 
them in Sind, the insult which caused the fate of Bijar may have proceeded 
from his master, though he may have been made the scapegoat. It is much 
to be regretted that the author of the Visit to Sinde did not acoompauv the 
Amirs to Sehwan (of which I shall venture an account obtained nearly 
twenty years ago). With the above memoir and map (by his brother 
Lieut. Bumes) of the Bann, a new light has been thrown on the history and 
geography of this most interesting and important portion of India. It is 
to be desired that to a gentleman so well prepared may be entru.sted the 
examination of this still little-known region. I had long entertained the 
hope of passing through the desert, by Jaisalmer to Uchh, and thence 
sailing down to Mansura, visiting Aror, Sehwan. Saramanagari, and Banian’ 
wasa. The rupture with Sind in 1820 gave me great expectations of accom 
pUshmg this object, and I drew up and transmitted to Lord Hastings a ulan 
of marching a force through the desert, and planting the cross on the insular^ 
capital of the Sogdoi ; but peace was the^order of the day I was then ' 
communication with Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind, who' I hiv 
little doubt, would have come over to our views. ' ^ 


CHOR 


1291 


relinquished, as the price of this aid, the claims of Sind upon 
TJmarkot, of which Bijai Singh took possession, and on whose 
battlements the flag of the Rathors waved until the last civil war, 
when the Sindis expelled them. Had Raja Man known how to 
profit by the general desire of his chiefs to redeem this distant 
possession, he might have got rid of some of the unquiet spirits 
by other means than those which have brought infamy on his 
name. 

Chor. — Since Umarkot has been wrested from the Sodhas, the 
expelled prince, who still preserves his title of Rana, resides at the 
town of Chor, fifteen miles north-east of his former capital. The 
descendant of the princes who probably opposed Alexander, 
Menander, and Kasim, the lieutenant of Walid, and who sheltered 
Humayun when driven from the throne of India, now subsists on 
the eleemosynary gifts of those with whom he is connected by 
marriage, or the few patches of land of his own desert domain left 
him by the rulers of Sind. He has eight brothers, w-ho are hardly 
pushed for a subsistence, and can only obtain it by the supplement 
to all the finances of these States, plunder. 

The Sodha, and the Jareja, are the connecting links between 
the Hindu and the Muslim ; for although the farther west we go 
the greater is the laxity of Rajput prejudice, yet to something 
more than mere locality must be attributed the denationalized 
sentiment which allows the Sodha to intermarry with a Sindi : 
this cause is hunger ; and there are few zealots who will deny that 
its influence is more potent than the laws of Manu. Every third 
year brings famine, and those who have not stored up against it 
fly to their neighbours, and chiefly to the valley of the Indus. 
The [317] connexions they then form often end in the union of 
their daughters with their protectors ; but they still so far adhere 
to ancient usage as never to receive back into the family caste a 
female so allied.*^ The present Rana of the Sodhas has set the 
example, by giving daughters to Mir Ghulam Ali and Mir Sohrab, 
and even to the Khosa chief of Dadar ; and in consequence, his 
brother princes of Jaisalmer, Bah and Parkar, though they will 

1 [The chief connexion of the Sodhas with Cutch is through the marriage 
of their daughters with leading Jareia and Musalman families. Their 
women are of great natural abilitv, but ambitious and intriguing, not 
scrunling to make away with their husbands in order that their sons may 
obtain the estate {BO, v. 67).] 



1292 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


accept a Sodha princess to wife (because they can depend on the 
purity of her blood), yet will not bestow a daughter on the Rana, 
whose offspring might perhaps grace the harem of a Baloch. But 
the Rathors of Marwar will neither give to nor receive daughters 
of Dhat. The females of this desert region, being reputed very 
handsome, have become almost an article of matrimonial traffic ; 
and it is asserted, that if a Sindi hears of the beauty of a Dhatiani, 
he sends to her father as much grain as he deems an equivalent, 
and is seldom refused her hand. We shall not here further touch 
on the manners or other peculiarities of the Sodha tribe, though 
we may revert to them in the general outline of the tribes, with 
which we shall conclude the sketch of the Indian desert. 

Tribes. — The various tribes inhabiting the desert and valley of 
the Indus would alone form an ample subject of investigation, 
which would, in all probability, elicit some important truths. 
Amongst the converts to Islam the inquirer into the pedigree of 
nations would discover names, once illustrious, but which, now 
hidden under the mantle of a new faith, might little aid his re- 
searches into the history of their origin. He would find the Sodha, 
the Kathi, the Mallani, affording in history, position, and nominal 
resemblance grounds for inferring that they are the descendants 
of the Sogdoi, Kathi, and Malloi, who opposed the Macedonian in 
his passage down the Indus ; besides swarms of Getae or Yuti, 
many of whom have assumed the general title of Baloch, or retain 
the ancient specific name of Numri ; while others, in that of 
Zj’at [Jat], preserve almost the primitive appellation. We have 
also the remains of those interesting races the Johyas and Dahvas, 
of which much has been said in tbe Annals of Jaisalmer, and else- 
where ; who, as well as the Getae or .lats. and Huns, hold places 
amongst the “ Thirty-six Royal Races ” of ancient India.^ These, 
with the Barahas and the Lohanas, tribes who swarmed a few 
centuries ago in the Panjab, will now only be discerned in small 
numbers in “ the region of death,” which has even preserved the 
illustrious name of Kaurava, Krishna’s foe in the Bharat. The 
Sahariya, or great robber of our western desert, would alone afford 
a text for discussion on his habits [318] and his raids, as the 
enemy of all spciety. But we shall begin with those who yet 
retain any pretensions to the name of Hindu (distinguishing them 
from the proselytes to Islam), and afterwards descant upon their 
^ See sketch of the tribes, Vol. I. p. 98. 


TRIBES : THE NAYYADS 


1293 


peculiarities. Bhatti, Rathor, Jodha, Chauhan, Mallani, Kaurava, 
Johya, Sultana, Lohana, Arora, Khurara, Sindhal, Maisuri, 
Vaishnavi, Jakhar, Asaich, Punia. 

Of the Muhammadan there are but two, Kalhora and Sahariya, 
concerning whose origin any doubt exists, and all those we are 
about to specify are Nayyads,^ or proselytes chiefly from Rajput 
or other Hindu tribes : 

ZJat ; Rajar ; Umra ; Sumra ; Mair, or Mer ; Mor, or Mohor ; 
Baloch ; Lumria, or Luka ; Samaicha ; Mangalia ; Bagria ; 
Dahya ; Johya ; Kairui ; Jangaria ; Undar ; Berawi ; Bawari ; 
Tawari ; Charandia ; Khosa ; Sadani ; Lohanas. 

The NayyadS. — Before we remark upon the habits of these 
tribes, we may state one prominent trait which characterizes the 
Nayyad, or convert to Islam, who, on parting with his original 
faith, divested himself of its chief moral attribute, toleration, and 
imbibed a double portion of the bigotry of the creed he adopted. 
AVhether it is to the intrinsic quality of the Muhammadan faith 
that we are to trace this moral metamorphosis, or to a sense of 
degradation (which we can hardly suppose) consequent on his 
apostasy, there is not a more ferocious or intolerant being on the 
earth than the Rajput convert to Islam. In Sind, and the desert, 
we find the same tribes, bearing the same name, one still Hindu, 
the other Muhammadan ; the first retaining his primitive manners, 
while the convert is cruel, intolerant, cowardly, and inhospitable. 
Escape, with life at least, perhaps a portion of property, is possible 
from the hands of the Maldot, the Larkhani, the Bhatti, or even 
the Tawaris, distinctively called “ the sons of the devil ” ; but 
from the Khosas, the Sahariyas, or Bhattis, there would be no 
hope of salvation. Such are their ignorance and brutality, that 
should a stranger make use of the words rassa, or rasta (rope, and 
road), he will be fortunate if he escape with bastinado from these 
beings, who discover therein an analogy to rasul, or ‘ the prophet ’ : 
he must for the former use the words kilbar, randori, and for the 
latter, dagra, or dag.‘ It will not fail to strike those who have 

^ Nayyad is the noviciate, literally new (naya), or original converts, I 
suppose. [In other parts of India they are known as NaumusUm.] 

“ Dagra is very common in Kajputana for a ‘ path-way ’ ; but the 
substitute here used for rassa, a rope, I am not acquainted with. [Tor a 
large collection of similar taboo names for persons, animals, and things see 
Sir J. Frazer, The Golden Bough, “ Taboo and Perils of the Soul,” 31S fi.] 



1294 SKETCH OF THE INDIAN: DESERT 

perused the heart-thrilling adventures of Park, Denham, and 
Clapperton- — names which will hve for ever in the amials of dis- 
covery — ^how completely the inoffensive, kind, and hospitable 
negro resembles in these qualities the Rajput, who is transformed 
into a wild beast the moment he can repeat, “ Ashhadu an la 
il^a ilia allah ! [319] Ashhadu anna Muhammad rasulu-haii,” 
“ there is but one God, and Muhammad is the prophet of God ’ : 
while a remarkable change has taken place amongst the Tatar 
tribes, since the anti-destructive doctrines of Buddha (or Hinduism 
purified of polytheism) have been introduced into the regions of 
Central Asia. 

On the Bhattis, the Rathors, the Chauhans, and their offset 
the MaUani, we have sufficiently expatiated, and likewise on the 
Sodha ; but a few pecuharities of this latter tribe remain to be 
noticed. 

The Sodha Tribe. — ^The Sodha, who has retained the name of 
Hindu, has yet so far discarded ancient prejudice, that he will 
drink from the same vessel and smoke out of the same hukka 
with a Musalman, laying aside only the tube that touches the 
mouth. With his poverty, the Sodha has lost his reputation 
for courage, retainuig only the merit of being a dexterous thief, 
and joining the hordes of Sahariyas and Khosas who prowl from 
Daudputra to Gujarat. The arms of the Sodhas are chiefly the 
sword and shield, with a long knife in the girdle, which serves 
either as a stiletto or a carver lor his meat : few have matchlocks 
but the primitive sling is a general weapon of offence, and they 
are very expert in its use. Their dress partakes of the Bhatti 
and Muhammadan costume, but the turban is peculiar to tlieni- 
selves, and by it a Sodha may always be recognized. The 
Sodha is to be found scattered over the desert, but there are 
offsets of his tribe, now more numerous than the parent stock 
of which the Samecha is the most conspicuous, whether of those 
who are stiff Hindu, or who have become converts to Islam. 

The Kaurava Tribe.— Tiffs singular tribe of Rajputs, whose 
habits, even in the midst of piUage, are entirely nomadic, is to be 
found chiefly in the thal of Dhat, though in no great numbers.^ 
They have no fixed habitations, but move about with their flocks 
and encamp wherever they find a sprmg or pasture for their 

cattle; and there construct temporary huts of the wide-spreading 

1 [The name cannot be traced in recent Census Reports.] 



KAURAVA AND DHATI TRIBES 


12 % 

by interlacing its living branches, covering the top with 
' f'leaves, and coating the inside with clay : in so skUful a manner 
■ tlo they thus shelter themselves that no sign of human habitation 
;is observable from without. StiU the roaming Sahariya is always 
^^‘On the look-out for these sylvan retreats, in which the shepherds 
■ . deposit their little hoards of grain, raised from the scanty patches 
aroimd them. The restless disposition of the Kauravas, who 
even among their ever-roaming brethren enjoy a species of fame 
in this respect, is attributed (said my Dhati) to a curse entailed 
upon them from remote ages. They rear camels, cows, buffaloes, 
and goats, which they sell to the Charans and other merchants. 
They are altogether a singularly peaceable race ; and like all their 
Rajput brethren, can at will [320] people the desert with palaces 
of their own creation, by the delightful atnal-pani, the universal 
^ panacea for iUs both moral and physical. 

The Dhati Tribe. — Dhat, or Dhati, is another Rajput, inhabit- 
ing Dhat, and in no greater numbers than the Kauravas, whom 
they resemble in their habits, being entirely pastoral, cultivating 
a few patches of land, and trusting to the heavens alone to bring 
it forward. They barter the ghi or clarified butter, made from 
^ the produce of their flocks, for grain and other necessaries of life. 
Rabri and chhachh, or ‘ porridge and buttermilk,’ form the grand 
fare of the desert. A couple of sers of flour of bajra, juar, and 
khejra is mixed with some sers of chhachh, and exposed to the 
fire, but not boiled, and this mess wiU suffice for a large family. 
The cows of the desert are much larger than those of the plains 
of India, and give from eight to ten sers (eight or ten quarts) of 
, 4'-' mUk daily. The produce of four cows will amply subsist a family 
of ten persons from the sale of ghi ; and their prices vary with 
their productive powers, from ten to fifteen rupees each. The 
rabri, so analogous to the kouskous of the African desert, is often 
made with camel’s milk, from which ghi cannot be extracted, 
and which soon becomes a living mass when put aside. Dried 
fish, from the valley of Sind, is conveyed into the desert on horses 
or camels, and finds a ready sale amongst all classes, even as far 
east as Barmer. It is sold at two dukras (coppers) a ser. The 
puras, or temporary hamlets of the Dhatis, consisting at most of 
" ten huts in each, resemble those of the Kauravas. 

The Lohana Tribe. — ^This tribe is numerous both in Dhat and 
^ {Salvadora oleoides or peraica (Watt, Earn. Diet. vi. Part ii. 447 fi.).] 



1296 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Talpura : formerly they were Rajputs, but betaking themselves 
to commerce, have fallen into the third class. They are scribes 
and shopkeepers, and object to no occupation that will bring a 
subsistence ; and as to food, to use the expressive idiom of this 
region, where himger spurns at law, “ excepting their cats and 
their cows, they will eat anything.” ‘ 

The Arora Tribe. — This class, like the former, apply themselves 
to every pursuit, trade, and agriculture, and fill many of the 
inferior offices of government in Sind, being shrewd, industrious, 
and intelligent. With the thrifty Arora and many other classes, 
flour steeped in cold water suffices to appease hunger. Whether 
this class has its name from being an inhabitant of .\ror, we 
know not.® 

The Bhatia Tribe.— Bhatia is also one of the equestrian order 
converted into the commercial, and the exchange has been to his 
advantage. His habits are like those of the Arora, next to whom 
he ranks as to activity and wealth. The Aroras and Bhatias 
have commercial houses at Sliikarpur, Haidarabad, and even at 
Surat and Jaipur [321].® 

Brahmans. — Bishnoi is the most common sect of Bralunans 
in the desert and Sind. The doctrines of Manu with them go for 
as much as they are worth in the desert, where “ they are a law ^ 
unto themselves.” They wear the janeo, or badge of their tribe, 
but it here ceases to be a mark of clerical distinction, as no drones 
are respected ; they cultivate, tend cattle, and barter their super- 
fluous ghi for other necessaries. They are most numerous in 
Dhat, havdng one hundred of their order in Chor, the residence of 
the Sodha Rana, and several houses in Umarkot. Dharnas, and t 
Mitti." They do not touch fish or smoke tobacco, but will eat 
food dressed by the hands of a Mali (gardener), or even a Nai 
(barber caste) ; nor do they use the chauka, or fireplace, reckoned 

1 [In Cutch they claim to be Eathors from llultaii, and are said to have 
been driven by the Muhammadans from the Panjab into Cutch. tn Gujarat 
they are Vaishnavas, and are particular about their food and drink, but in 
Sind they are more lax (BG, v. 54 if., ix. Part i. 122 ; Burton, Sindh, 314),] 

® [They are numerous in S.W. Panjab, where Eosc {Glossary, ii.’iO tf.) 
gives a full account of them.] 

® [On their connexion with the Bhatti Eajputs see Crooke, Tribes and 
Castes N.W.P. andOudh, ii. 37 ; Bussell, Tribes and Castes Central Provinces ^ 
i. 380 ; BG, v. 37 f.] 

* [About 45 miles S. of Umarkot.] 



BRAHMANS : RABARI AND JAT TRIBES 1297 

t 

■;%-! indispensable in more civilized regions. Indeed, all classes of 
■ Hindus throughout Sind will partake of food dressed in the sarai, 
or inn, by the hands of the Bhathiyarin. They use indiscrimin- 
ately each other's vessels, without any process of purification 
^but a little sand and water. They do not even burn their dead, 
but bury them near the threshold ; and those who can afford it, 
raise small chabutras, or altars, on which they place an image of 
Siva, and a ghara, or Jar of water. The janeo, or thread which 
marks the sacerdotal character in Hindustan, is common in these 
regions to all classes, with the exception of Kolis and Lohanas. 
This practice originated with their governors, in order to dis- 
criminate them from those who have to perform the most servile 
duties. ‘ 


The Babari Tribe. — This term is known throughout Hindustan 
^ only as denoting persons employed in rearing and tending camels, 
who are there always Muslims. Here they are a distinct tribe, 
and Hindus, employed entirely in rearing camels, or in stealing 
them, in which they evince a peculiar dexterity, uniting with the 
Bhattis in the practice as far as Daudputra. When they come 
upon a herd grazing, the boldest and most experienced strikes 
, his lance into the first he reaches, then dips a cloth in the blood, 
which at the end of his lance he thrusts close to the nose of the 
next, and wheeling about, sets off at speed, followed by the whole 
herd, lured by the scent of blood and the example of their leader 
Jat Tribes. — Jakhar, Asaich, Punia are all denominations of 
the Jat race, a few of whom preserv'e under these ancient sub- 
* divisions their old customs and religion ; but the greater part 
are among the converts to Islam, and retain the generic name, 
pronounced Zjat. Those enumerated are harmless and in- 
dustrious, and are found both in the desert and valley. There 
are besides these a few scattered families of ancient tribes [322], 
^ as the Sultana ’ and Khumra, of whose history we are ignorant. 


' [These desert Brahmans, whose laxity of custom is notorious, have no 
connexion with other orthodox Brahmans, and are probably priests or 
medicine-men who now claim that rank.] 

[Cejisus Report, Bombay, 1911, i. 298.] 

® Abu-1 Fazl, in describing the province of Bajaur, inhabited by the 
/ .Yusufzais, says ; “ The whole of the tract [Swat] of hill and plain is the 
J ''domain of the Yusufzai clan. In the time of Mirza Ulugh Beg of Kabul, 
they migrated from Kabul to this territory and wrested it from the Sultans 
who affected to be descendants of Alexander Bicornutus ” (At)!, ii- 392 f ). 
Mr. Elphinstone inquired in vain for this offspring of Alexander the Great. 



1298 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Johyas, Sindhals, and others, whose origin has already been 
noticed in the Annals of Mamsthali. 

We shall now leave this general account of the Hindu tribes, 
who throughout Sind are subservient to the wiU of the Muhamma- ^ 
dan, who is remarkable, as before observed, for intolerance. ^ 
■The Hindu is always second : at the well, he must wait patiently 
until his tyrant has filled his vessel ; or if, in cooking his dinner, 
a Muslim should require fire, it must be given forthwith, or the 
shoe would be apphed to the Hindu’s head. 

The Sahariya Tribe. — The Sahariya is the most numerous of *■ 
the Muhammadan tribes of the desert, said to be Hindu in origin, 
and descendants of the ancient dynasty of Aror ; but whether 
his descent is derived from the dynasty of Siharas (written Sahir 
by Pottinger), or from the Arabic word sahra, ‘ a desert,’ of 
which he is the terror, is of very little moment.* 

The Khosa Tribe. — The Kosas or Khosas, etc., are branches 
of the Sahariya, and their habits are the same. They have 
reduced their mode of rapine to a system, and estabhshed kuri, 
or blackmail, consisting of one rupee and five daris of grain for 
every plough, exacted even from the hamlets of the shepherds 
throughout the thal. Their bands are chiefly mounted on camels, 
though some are on horseback ; their arms are the sel or sang ^ 
(lances of bamboo or iron), the sword and shield, and but few 
firearms. Their depredations used to be extended a hundred 
coss around, even into Jodhpur and Daudputra, but they eschew 
coming in contact with the Rajput, who says of a Sahariya, 

“ he is sure to be asleep when the battle nakkara beats.” Their 'ft 
chief abode is in the southern portion of the desert ; and about ^ - 
Nawakot, Jlitti, as far as Baliari.- Many of them used to find 
service at Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Suigam, but they are cowardly 
and faithless. 

The Samaicha Tribe. — Samaicha is one of the nayijnd, or 
proselytes to Islam from the Sodha race, and numerous both in 
the thal and the valley, where they have many puras or hamlets. 

They resemble the Dhatis in' their habits, but many of them 
associate with the Sahariyas, and plimder their brethren. They 


* [These derivations are impossible ; the name is possibly connected 
with that of the Savara tribe.] t 

' [Naw-akot and Mitti in the interior of Thar-Parkar ; Baliari on the 
shore of the Great Rann.J 



THE TRIBES OF THE DESERT 


1299 


i^ver shave or touch the hair of their heads, and consequently 
look more like brutes than human beings. They allow no animal 
to die of disease, but kill it when they think there are no hopes of 
lovery. The Samaicha women liave the reputation of being 
at scolds, and never veil their faces [323]. 

The Rajar Tribe. — They are said to be of Bhatti descent, and 
||TOniine their haimts to the desert, or the borders of Jaisalmer, 
yas at Ramgarh, Kdala, Jarela, etc. ; and the that between Jaisalmer 
and Upper Sind : they are cultivators, shepherds, and thieves, 
and are esteemed amongst the very worst of the converts to 
Muhammadanism.^ 

The Umar Sumra Tribe. — Umars and Sumras are from the 
Pramar or Puar race, and are now chiefly in the ranks of the 
faithful, though a few are to be found in Jaisalmer and in 
^ ^the tJial called after them ; of whom we have already said 
I enough.* 

The Kalhora, Talpuri Tribes. — Kalhora and Talpuri are tribes 
y of celebrity in Sind, the first having furnished the late, and the 
other its present, dynasty of rulers ; and though the one has dared 
. to deduce its origin from the Abbasides of Persia, and the other 
^has even advanced pretensions to descent from the Prophet, it is 
asserted that both are alike Baloch, who are said to be essentially 
Jat or Gete in origin. The Talpuris, who have their name from 
the town (pura) of pahns (tal or tar), are said to amoimt to one- 
fourth of the population of Lori or Little Sind, which misnomer 
^they affix to the dominion of Haidarabad. There are none in 
,he that, 

‘ Numri, Lumri, or Luka Tribe. — This is also a grand subdivision 
of the Baloch race, and is mentioned by Abu-1 Fazl as ranking 
next to the Kulmani, and being able to bring into the field three 
liundred cavalry and seven thousand infantry. Gladwin has 
^®‘1tendered the name Nomurdy, and is followed by Rennel.* The 
Nuniris, or Lumris, also styled Luka, a still more familiar term 
for fox,* are likewise affirmed to be Jat in origin. What is the 
etymology of the generic term Baloch, which they have assumed. 


4m 


* [The Rajar are recorded as a section of the Saman, an aboriginal tribe 
X-^n Sind (Census Report, Bombay, 1911, i. 233).] 

* [See EUiot-Dowsou i. 489.] 

I * [The true reading is Nohmardi (Ain, ii. 337).] 

I * [Of. Hindi iohri or lokhri.) 



1300 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


or whether they took it from, or gave it to, Baluchistan, some 
future inquirer into these subjects may discover.^ 

The Zott ® or Jat Tribe. — This very original race, far more 
numerous than perhaps all the Rajput tribes put together, stUl - 
retains its ancient appellation throughout the whole of Sin^ 
from the sea to Daudputra, but there are few or none in the thal. 
Tlieir habits differ little from those who surround them. They 
are amongst the oldest converts to Islam. 

The Mer, Mair Tribe, — We should scarcely have expected to 
find a mountaineer {niera) in the valley of Sind, but their Bhatti '* 
origin sufficiently accounts for the term, as Jaisalmer is termed 
Mer.® 

The Mor, Mohor Tribe. — Said to he also Bhatti in origin.® 

The Tawari, Thori, or Tori Tribe. — These engross the distinctive 
epithet of bhut, or ‘ evil spirits,’ and the yet more emphatic title 
of ‘ sons of the devil.’ Their origin is doubtful, but [324] they* 
rank rvith the Bawariyas, Khengars, and other professional thieves 
scattered over Rajputana, who will bring you either your enemj-’s 
head or the turban from it. They are found in the thals of 
Daudputra, Bijnot, Nok, Nawakot, and Udar. They are pro- 
prietors of camels, which they hire out, and also find employment 
as convoys to caravans. 

Johya, Dahya, Mangalia Tribes,— Once found amongst the 
Rajput tribes, now proselytes to Islam, but few in number either 
in the valley or the desert. There arc also Bairawis, a class of 
Baloch, Khairawis, Jangrias, Undars, Bagrias, descended from 
the Praniar and Sankhla Rajputs, but not possessing, either in 
respect to numbers or other distinctive marks, any claims on our * 
attention. 


Daudputra, Bahawalpur State,— This petty State, though 
beyond the pale of Hinduism, yet being but a recent formation 

f).-' • a barbarian,’ but 

this IS doubtful.] 

3 f Of O’- Jat (Sykes, Hist, of Persia, ii. 79).] 

[The ascnption of Bhatti origin to the ilers is obviouslv intended to 

® [In the Panjab Mor is the name of a Jat sept which worship the peacock 
Thte° their ancestor from a snake (Rose^ 

S sKiter^JdJth. ‘his tribe at Sarangpur on the 



DACDPUTRA, bahawalpur state 


1301 


‘#ut of the Bhatti State of Jaisalmer, is strictly within the limits 
«f Marusthali. Little is known regarding the family who founded 
it, and we shall therefore confine ourselves to this point, which 
is not adverted to by Mr. Elphinstone, who may be consxilted for 
fe interesting description of its prince, and his capital, Bahawal- 
)ur, during the halt of the embassy to Kabul 
II Baud Ivhan, the founder of Daudputra, was a native of 
ihikarpur, west of the Indus, where he acquired too much power 
:for a subject, and consequently drew upon himself the arms of 
■^jfliis sovereign of Kandahar. Unable to cope with them, he 
abandoned his native place, passed his family and effects across 
the Indus, and followed them into the desert. The royal forces 
pursued, and coming up with him at Sutiala, Baud had no alterna- 
tive but to surrender, or destroy the families who impeded his 
flight or defence. He acted the Rajput, and faced his foes ; who, 
' Appalled at this desperate act, deemed it unwise to attack him, 
and retreated. Baud Khan, with his adherents, then settled in 
the kaclihi, or flats of Sind, and gradually extended his authority 
into the that. He was succeeded by Mubarik Khan ; he, by his 
nephew Bahawal Khan, whose son is Sadik Muhammad Khan, 
±he present lord of Bahawalpur, or Baudputra, a name applied 
' 'both to the countrj^ and to its possessors, “ the children of Bavid.” ® 
It was Mubarik who deprived the Bhattis of the district called 
Khadal, so often mentioned in the Annals of Jaisalmer, and whose 
-chief town is Berawar, founded by Rawal Beoraj in the eighth 
century ; and where the successor of Baud established his abode. 
"- ' ■^erawar was at that time inhabited by a branch of the Bhattis, 
jk >^oken off at a very early period, its chief holding the title of 
Alawal, and whose family since their expulsion have resided at 
^hariala, belonging to Bikaner, on [325] an allowance of five 
rupees a day, granted by the conqueror. The capital of the 
sons of Bavid ” was removed to the south bank of the Gara 
■ by Bahawal Khan (who gave it his name), to the site of an old 


^ [Accoatd of the Kingdom of Caubul, 2nd ed. (1842) i. 22 if. For a 
full account of the Abbasi Daudputras of Bahawalpur see the State Gazetteer 
by IMalik Muhammad Din (1908), i. 47 If.).] 

^ [The succession runs : Bah.wal Khan II. (a.n. 1772-1809) ; Sadik 
jmuhammad Khan (1809-25) ; Muhamniad Bahawal Khan III. (1825-52) ; 
Sadik Muhammad Khan II. (1853-58); Muhammad Bahawal Khan IV. 
*858-60) ; Siidik Jfuhammad Khan III., a minor, installed in 1879.] 



1302 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 

Bhatti city, whose name I could not leam. About thirty years 
ago 1 an army from Kandahar invaded Daudputra, invested and 
took Derawar, and compelled Bahawal Khan to seek protection 
with the Bhattis at Bikampur. A negotiation for its rcstoratiOT _ 
took place, and he once more pledged his submission to 
Abdali king, and having sent his son Mubarik Khan as a hostage 
and guarantee for the liquidation of the imposition, the army 
withdrew. Mubarik continued three years at Kabul, and was 
at length restored to liberty and made Khan of Bahawalpur, on 
attempting which he was imprisoned by his father, and confined^ 
in the fortress of Khangarh, where he remained nearly until 
Bahawal Khan’s death. A short time previous to this, the 
principal chiefs of Daudputra, namely, Badera Kliairani, chief 
of Mozgarh, Khudabakhsh of Traihara, Ikhtiyar Khan of Garhi, 
and Haji Khan of TJchh, released Mubarik Klian from Khangarh 
and they had reached Murara, when tidings arrived of the death 
of Bahawal Khan. He continued his route to the capital ; but 
Nasir Khan, son of Alam Khan, Gurgecha (Baloch), having 
formerly injured him and dreading punishment, had him assassin- 
ated, and placed his brother, the present chief, Sadik Muhammad, 
on the masnad : who immediately shut up his nephews, the sons 
of Mubarik, together with his younger brothers, in the fortress 
of Derawar. They escaped, raised a force of Rajputs and Purbias, 
and seized upon Derawar ; but Sadik escaladed it, the Purbias 
made no defence [326], and both his brothers and one nephew were 
slain. The other nephew got over the wall, but was seized by a 
neighbouring chief, surrendered, and slain ; and it is conjectured 
the whole was a plot of Sadik Khan to afford a pretext for theii'* - 
death. Nasir Khan, by whose instigation he obtained the 
masnad, was also put to death, being too powerful for a subject. 
But the Khairani lords have always been plotting against their 
liege ; an instance of which has been given in the Annals of’ 
Bikaner, when Traihara and Mozgarh were confiscated, and the 
chiefs sent to the castle of Khangarh, the State prison of Daud- 
putra. Garhi still belongs to Abdulla, son of Haji Khan, but no 
territory is annexed to it. Sadik Muhammad has not the reputa- 
tion of his father, whom Bijai Singh, of Marwar, used to style his 
brother. The Daudputras are much at variance amongst eadh 
other, and detested by the Bhattis, from whom they have hitherto 
‘ This memorandum was written, I think, in 1811 or 1812. 



DISEASES IN THE DESERT 


1303 


exacted a tribute to abstain from plunder. The fear of Kandahar 
no longer exists at Bahawalpur, whose chief is on good terms 
I with Ms neighbour of Upper Sind, though he is often alarmed by 
the threats of Ranjit Singh of Lahore, who asserts supremacy 
over “ the children of David.” 

Diseases. — Of the numerous diseases to which the inhabitants 
of the desert are subjected, from poor and imwholesome diet, and 
yet more unwholesome drink, rataundha or night-blindness, the 
narua or Guinea-worm, and varieose veins, are the most common. 
,% The first and last are mostly confined to the poorer classes, and 
those who are compelled to walk a great deal, when the exertion 
necessary to extricate the limbs from deep sand, acting as a 
constant drag upon the elasticity of the fibres, occasions them 
to become ruptured. Yet such is the force of habit that the 
I natives of Dhat in my service, who had all their lives been pl 5 dng 
their limbs as kasids, or carriers of dispatches, between all the 
cities on the Indus and in Rajputana, complained of the firmer 
footing of the Indian plains, as more fatiguing than that of their 
native sandhUIs. But I never was a convert to the Dhati’s 
reasoning ; with all his simplicity of character, even in this was 
there vanity, for his own swelled veins, which could be compared to 
^ notMng but rattans twisted round the calf of his limbs, if they did 
not belie his assertion, at least proved that he had paid dearly for 
his pedestrianism in the desert [327]. From the narua, or Guinea- 
worm, there is no exemption, from the prince to the peasant, and 
happy is the man who can boast of only one trial. The disease is 
not confined to the desert and western Rajputana, being far from 
If uncommon in the central States ; but beyond the Aravalli the 
/ question df “How is your narua?” is almost a general form of 
greeting, so numerous are the suHerers from this malady. It 
generally attacks the limbs and the integuments of the joints, 
when it is excruciating almost past endurance. Vidiether it arises 
from animalculae in sand or water, or porous absorption of minute 
particles imbued with the latent vital principle, the natives are 
not agreed. But the seat of the disease appears immediately 
under and adhesive to the skin, on whicAi it at first produces a 
small speck, which, gradually increasing and swelling, at length 
reaches a state of inflammation that affects the whole system. 
# The worm then begins to move, and as it attains the degree of 
S vitality apparently necessary for extricating itself, its motions 



1304 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


are unceasing, and night and day it gnaws the unhappy patient, 
who only exists in the hope of daily seeing the head of his enemy 
pierce the cuticle. This is the moment for action : the skUful 
narua-doctoT is sent for, who seizes upon the head of the worm, 
and winding it round a needle or straw, employs it as a windlass, 
which is daily set in motion at a certain hour, when they wind out 
as much line as they can without the risk of breaking it . Unhappy 
the wretch whom this disaster befalls, when, happening to fall 
into a feverish slumber, he kicks the windlass, and snaps the 
living thread, which creates tenfold inflammation and suppuration. 
On the other hand, if by patience and skill it is extracted entire, 
he recovers. I should almost imagine, when the patriarch of 
Uz exclaims, “ My flesh is clothed with worms : my skin is broken 
and become loathsome. When I lie down, I say, when shall I 
arise and the night be gone ? ” that he must have been afflicted 
with the narua, than which none of the ills that flesh is heir to 
can be more agonizing.'^ 

They have the usual infantine and adult diseases, as in the rest 
of India. Of these the sitala, or ‘ smallpox,’ and the tijari, or 
‘ tertian,’ are the most common. For the first, they merely 
recommend the little patient to Sitala ]Mata ; and treat the other 
with astringents in which infusion of the rind of the pomegranate 
is always (when procurable) an ingredient. The rich, as in other 
countries, are under the dominion of empirics, who entail worse 
diseases by administering mineral poisons, of whose effects they are 
ignorant. Enlargement of the spleen under the influence of these 
fevers is very common, and its cure is mostly the actual cautery. 

Famines. — Famine is, however, the grand natural disease of 

^ My friend Dr. Jo.seph Duncan (attached to the Residency when I was 
Political Agent at Udaipur) was attacked by the narun in a very aggravated 
form. It fi.xed itself in the ankle-johit, and Ijeing broken in the attempt to 
extricate it, was attended by all the evil results I have described, ending in 
lameness, and generally impaired health, which obliged him to visit the 
Cape for recovery, where I saw him on my way home eighteen months after, 
but he had even then not altogether recovered from the lameness. [Guinea- 
worm (Draoontiasis), a disease due to the Filaria medineiuis or D-racunculus, 
known in Persia as rishtah, infests the Persian Gulf and many parts of 
India. See Curzon, Persia, ii. 234 ; Fryer, New Account of Past India and 
Persia, ed. 1912, i. 175 ; Sleeman, Rambles, 76 ; Asiatic Researches, vi. 
58 fi. ; EB, 11th ed. xix. 361. The disease from which Job suffered (Job 
ii. 7) is generally heheved to be elephantiasis (A. B. Davidson, The Booh 
of Job, 13).] 


DISEASES IN THE DESERT 


1305 


these re. 'ions, whose legendary stanzas teem with records of visita- 
'' tions Oi Rhukhi Mata, the ‘ famished mother,’ from the remotest 
times. That which is best authenticated in the traditions of 
several of these States, occurred in the eleventh century, and con- 
tinned during twelve years ! It is erroneously connected with 
the name of Lakha Phulani, who was the personal foe of Siahji, 
the first Rathor emigrant from Kanauj, and who slew this Robin 
Hood of the desert in S. 1268 (a.d. 1212). Doubtless the desicca- 
tion of the Ghaggar River, in the time of Hamir Sodha, nearly a 
^ century before, must have been the cause of this. Every third 
year they calculate upon a partial visitation, and in 1812 one 
commenced which lasted three or four j-ears, extending even to 
the central States of India, when flocks of poor creatures found 
their waj^ to the provinces on the Ganges, selling their infants, or 
parting with their own liberty, to sustain existence.' 

Productions, Animal and Vegetable. — The camel, ‘ the ship of 
the desert,’ deserves the first mention. There he is indispensable ; 
he is yoked to the plough, draws water from the well [328], bears 
it for his lordly master in mashaks, or ‘ skins,’ in the passage of 
the desert, and can dispense with it himself altogether during 
several days. This quality, the formation of his hoof, which has 
' the property of contracting and expanding according to the soU, 
and the induration of his mouth, into which he draws by his 
tongue the branches of the babul, the khair, and jawas, with their 
long thorns, sharp and hard as needles, attest the beneficence of 
the Supreme Artist. • It is singular that the Arabian patriarch, 
i who so accurately describes the habits of various animals, domestic 
and ferocious, and who was himself lord of three thousand camels, 
should not have mentioned the peculiar properties of the camel, 
though in alluding to the incapacity of the unicorn (rhinoceros) 
for the plough, he seems indirectly to insinuate the use of others 
besides the ox for this purpose. The camels of the desert are far 
superior to those of the plains, and those bred in the thals of Dhat 
and Barmer are the best of all. The Rajas of .Jaisalmer and 
Bikaner have corps of camels trained for war.“ That of the 

' [Since this was written Bajpntana has suffered from terrible famines 
in 1868-69, 1877-78, 1891-92, and 1899-1900, besides several seasons of 
» scarcity.] 

4 ^ [These camel corps have been placed at the service of the Indian 

f Government, and have done excellent service in several recent campaigns.] 
VOI.. Ill E 


1306 


SICETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


former State is two hundred strong, eighty of which belong to the 
prince ; the rest are the quotas of his chiefs ; hut how they are 
rated, or in what ratio to the horsemen of the other principalities, 
I never thought of inquiring. Two men arc mounted rm each 
camel, one facing the head, the other the rear, and they are 
famous in a retreating action : but when compelled to come to 
close quarters, they make the camel kneel down, tie his legs, and 
retiring behind, make a breastwork of his body, resting the match- 
lock over the pack-saddle. There is not a shrub in the desert that 
does not serve the camel for fodder. 

The Wild Ass. — Khar-gadha, Gorkhar, or the wild ass,^ is an 
inhabitant of the desert, but most abounds in the southern part, 
about Dhat, and the deep rui which extends from Barmer to 
Bankasar and Baliati, along the north bank of the great Rann, or 
‘ salt desert.’ 

Rojh or Nilgae, Lions, etc. — ^The noble species of the deer, the 
nilgae, is to be met with in numerous parts of the desert ; and 
although it enjoys a kind of immunity from the Rajput of the 
plains, who may hunt, but do not eat its flesh, here, both for food 
and for its hide, it is of great use.’ Of the other wild animals 
common to India they have the tiger, fox, jackal, hare, and also 
the nobler animal, the lion. 

Domestic Animals. — Of domestic animals, as horses, oxen, cows, 
sheep, goats, asses, there is no want, and even the last mentioned 
IS made to go in the plough. 

Flocks (here termed chang) of goats and sheep are pastured in 
vast numbers in the desert. It is asserted that the goat can 
subsist without water from the month of Karttik to the middle of 
Chart, the autumnal to the spring equinox [329]— apparentlv an 
impossibility : though it is well known that they can dispense 
wi h It dunng six weeks when the grasses are abundant. In the 
thals of Daudputra and Bhattipo, they remove to the flats of 
hmd m the commencement of the hot weather. The shepherds, 


almost entirely disap- 

^wed m Jaisataer. It is seldom seen in Marwar, and no speciieu hL 
^peared m Bikaner for many years (Erskine iii. A. 7, 50, 311^- Blanford 
0 / Indm, 470 f.). Herodotus (:,di. 86) siiys that the S 
’ f ’’y hisses.] 



ANIMALS : VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS 


1307 


like their flocks, go without water, but find a substitute in the 
chhachh, or buttermilk, after extracting the butter, which is made 
into glii, and exchanged for grain, or other necessaries. Those 
wlio pasture camels also live entirely upon their milk, and the 
^ wild fruits, scarcely ever tasting bread. 

Shrubs and Fruits. — We have often had occasion to mention 
the kJmir or karil ; the khejra, whose pod converted, when dried, 
into flour, is called sangri ; the jhal, which serves to hut the 
shepherds, and in Jeth and Baisakh affords them fruit ; the pilu, 
used as food ; ‘ the babul, which yields its medicinal gum ; the 
ber, or jujube, which also has a pleasant fruit ; all of which ser%'e 
the camel to browse on, and are the most common and most useful 
of the shrubs : the jaivas, whose exjjresscd juice yields a gum 
used in medicine ; the phog, with whose twigs they line their 
wells ; and the alkaline plant, the sajji, which they burn for its 
ashes. Of these, the first and last are worthy of a more detailed 
notice. 

Tlie karil, or kliair (the capparis, or caper-bush), is well known 
both in Hindustan and the desflk : there they use it as a pickle, 
but here it is stored up as a culinary article of importance. The 
bush is from ten to fifteen feet in height, spreading very wide ; 
' there are no leaves on its evergreen twig-like branches, w’hich bear 
a red flower, and the fruit is about the size of a large black currant. 
When gathered, it is steeped for twenty-four hours in water, which 
is then poured off, and it undergoes, afterwards, two similar 
^ operations, when the deleterious properties are carried off ; they 
are then boiled and eaten with a little salt, or by those who can 
afford it, dressed in ghi and eaten with bread. Many families 
possess a stock of twenty maunds. 

The sajji is a low, bushy plant, chiefly produced in the northern 
desert, and most abundant in those tracts of Jaisalmer called 
Khadal, now subject to Daudputra. From Pugal to Derawar, 
and thence by Muridkot, Ikhtyar Khan-ki-garhi, to Khairpur 
(Dair Ali), is one extensive tkal, or desert, in which there are very 
considerable tracts of low, hard flat, termed chittram,^ formed by 


^ [The fruits or small red berries of the pilu (Salvadora persica) have a 
^^trong aromatic smell and a pungent taste, like mustard or garden cress, 
wliile the shoots and leaves are eaten as a salad (Watt, Econ. Diet. vi. Part ii. 
4i9 ; Bumes, Travels into Bokhara, iii. 122).] 

Chittram, the name applied to these flats of hard soil (which Hr. Elphin- 


I 


1308 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


the lodgment of water [330] after rain, and in these spots only is 
the sajji plant produced. The salt, which is a sub-carbonate of 
soda, is obtained by incineration, and the process is as follows : 

Pits are excavated and fiUed with the plant, which, when fired, 
exudes a liquid substance that falls to the bottom. While burn- 
ing, they agitate the mass with long poles, or throw on sand if it 
burns too rapidly. When the virtue of the plant is extracted, 
the pit is covered with sand, and left for three da 5 ^s to cool ; the 
alkaU is then taken out, and freed from its impurities by some 
process. The purer product is sold at a rupee the ser {two pounds ^ 
weight) ; of the other upwards of forty sers are sold for a rupee. 
Both Rajputs and Muhammadans pursue this emploj^ment, and 
pay a duty to the lord paramount of a copper pice on every 
rupee’s worth they sell. Charans and others from the towns of 
Marwar purcliase and transport this salt to the different marts, 
whence it is distributed over all parts of India. It is a consider- 
able article of commerce with Sind, and entire caravans of it are 
carried to Bakhar, Tatta, and Cutch. The virtue of the soda is 
well understood in culinary pur^ses, a little sajji added to the 
hard water soon softening the mess of pulse and rice preparing for 
their meals ; and the tobacconists use considerable quantities in 
their trade, as it is said to have the power of restoring the lost \ 
virtues of the plant. 

Grasses. — Grasses are numerous, but xmless accompanied by 
botanical illustration, their description would possess little in- 
terest. There is the gigantic sixmn, or sinn, classically known as 
the kusa, and said to have originated the name of Kusa, th r 
second son of Rama, and his race the Kachhwaha. It is often ^ 
eight feet in height ; when young, it serves as provender for 
animals, and when more mature, as thatch for the huts, while its 
roots supply a fibre, converted by the weavers into brushes indis- 
pensable to their trade. There is likewise the sarkanda, the 
dhaman, the diiba, and various others ; besides the gokhru. the 


stone happily describes, by saying that it rings under the horses’ hoofs in 
marching over it), is literally ‘ the picture,’ from the circumstance of such 
spots almost constantly presenting the mirage, hero termed chiitram. How 
far the soil, so deeply impregnated with alkaline matter, may tend to” 
fieighten, if not to cause this, we have elsewhere noted in a general account 
of this optical phenomenon in various parts of northern India. 



ITINERARY 


1309 


papri, and the bharut, which adhering to their garments, are the 
torment of travellers.* 

Melons. — Of the cucurbitaceous genus, indigenous to the desert, 
they have various kinds, from the gigantic kharbuza and the 
^ chitra, to the dwarf guar. The tomato, whose Indian name I have 
not preserved, is also a native of these regions, and well known in 
other parts of India We shall trespass no further with these 
details, than to add, that the botanical names of all such trees, 
. shrubs, or grains, as occur in this work, will be given with the 
'!i. general Index, to avoid unnecessary repetition [331]. 


ITINERARY » 

Jaisalmer to Sehwan, on the right bank of the Indus, and 
Haidarabad, and return by Umarkot to Jaisalmer 

Ivuldra (5 coss). — A village inhabited by Paliwal Brahmans ; two 
hundred houses ; wells. 

Gajia-ki-basti (2 do.). — Sixty houses ; chiefly Brahmans ; wells. 
Khaba (3 do.). — Three hundred houses ; chiefly Brahmans ; a 
small fort of four bastions on low hills, having a garrison of 
Jaisalmer. 

Kanohi (5 do.).i — ^An assemblage of hamlets of four or five huts 
Sum (5 do.).j on one spot, about a mile distant from each 
other, conjointly called Sum, having a burj or tower for de- 
fence, garrisoned from Jaisalmer ; several large wells, termed 
? beria ; inhabitants, chiefly Sindis of various tribes, pasture 

their flocks, and bring salt and khara (natron) from Deo 
Chandeswar, the latter used as a mordant in fixing colours, 
exported to all parts. Half-way between Sum and Mulana 
is the boundary of Jaisalmer and Sind. 

' . * [Sarkauda, Saccharum sara or arundinaceum ; dhaman, Penniselum 

cemhroidea ; dub, Cynodon dactylon ; gokhru, Tribuhts lancigenosus ; bharut, 
Cenchrus caiharticus.} 

^ [The tomato, introduced in modem times into India, generally called 
wilayati baingan, ‘ the foreign egg-plant.’] 

® [Many of the places named in this Itinerary are merely temporary 
halting-places in the desert, which do not appear in modem maps. Hence, 
in several cases, the transliteration is conjectural, and depends on the 
method of the Author in the case of well-known localities. A series of 
similar routes is given by Lieut. A. H. E. Boileau, Narrative of a Tour 
through Sajwara in 1S35 (Calcutta, 1837), p. 192 ff.] 



1310 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Mulana ^ (24 coss). — A hamlet of ten huts ; chiefly Sindis ; situ- 
ated amidst lofty sandliiUs. From Sum, the iirst half of the 
journey is over alternate sandhills, rocky ridges (termed 
magra), and occasionally plain ; for the next three, rocky 
ridges and sandhills without any flats, and the remaining nine 
coss a succession of lofty tibas. In all this space of twenty- 
four coss there are no weUs, nor is a drop of water to be had 
but after rain, when it collects in some old tanks or reservoirs, 
called nadi and taba, situated half-way, where in past times 
there was a town. 

It is asserted, that before the Muhammadans conquered 
Sind and these regions, the valley and desert belonged to 
Rajput princes of the Pramar and Solanki tribes ; that the 
whole thal (desert) was more or less inhabited, and the remains 
of old tanks and temples, notwithstanding the drifting of the 
sands, attest the fact. Tradition records a famine of twelve 
years’ duration during the time of Lakha Phulani, in the 
twelfth century, which depopulated the country, when the 
survivors of the thal fled to the kachhi, or flats of the Sind. 
There are throughout still many oases or cultivated patches, 
designated by the local terms from the [332] indispensable 
element, water, which whether springs or rhulets, are called 
wall, bah, beria, rar, far, prefixed by the tribe of those pastur- 
ing, whether Sodhas, Rajars, or Samaichas. The inhabitants 
of one hamlet will go as far as ten miles to cultivate a patch. 

Bhor (2 do.). , These are all hamlets of about ten huts, in- 


Palri (3 do.). 
Rajar-ki-basti 
(2 do.). 

Hamlet of Rajars 
(2 do.). 


habited by Rajars, who cultivate patches of 
land or pasture their flocks of buffaloes, 
cows, camels, goats, amidst the thal ; at 
each of these hamlets there are plenty of 
springs ; at Rajar-ki-basti there is a pool 
caUedMahadeo-ka-dah. (Seep. 12G3above.) 

Deo Chandeswar Mahadeo (2 do.). — When the Sodha princes held 
sway in these regions, there was a town here, and a temple to 
!Mahadeo, the ruins of which still exist, erected over a spring 
called Suraj kund, or fomitain of the] Sun. The? Islamite 
destroyed the temple, and changed the name of the spring to 


* There are two routes from Mulana to Sehwan. The Dhati went the 
longest on account of water. The other is by Sakrand, as follows : 


Pahi 


Coss. 

5 

Sakrand 

Coss 
. 3 1 


Padshah-ki-basti 


. 6 

Isala . 

. Oi 

This 

Udani 


. 5 

^Makrand 

4 

appears 

Mitrao 


. 10 

JVoka-ki- basti 

G 

•verv 

Mir-ki-khoi 


0 

The Sind 

. 10 

circuit- 

Supari 

Kambhar-ka-nala 


. 5 

. 9 

Sehwan 

. oj 

ous. 


^ Town high road from Upper to Lower Sind. 



ITINERARY 


13H 


Dinbawa, or ‘ waters of the faith.’ Tlie kund is small, faced 
with brick, and has its margin planted with date trees and 
pomegranates, and a Mulla, or priest from Sind, resides there 
and receives tribute from the faithful. For twelve coss 
around this spot there are numerous springs of water, where 
the Rajars find pasture for their flocks, and patches to culti- 
vate. Their huts are conical like the .wigwams of the African, 
and formed by stakes tied at the apex and covered with grass 
and leaves, and often but a large blanket of camel’s hair 
stretched on stakes. 

Chandia-ki-basti (2 coss). — Hamlet inhabited by Muslims of the 
Chandia tribe, mendicants who subsist on the charity of the 
traveller. 


Rajar-ki-basti (2 do.). 


Samaicha-ki-do 

(2 

do.). 

Rajar 

do. 

(1 

do.). 

Do. 

do. 

(2 

do.). 

Do. 

do. 

(2 

do.). 

Do. 

do. 

(2 

do.). 

Do. 

do. 

(2 

do.). 

Do. 

do. 

(2 

do.). - 


Purwas, or hamlets of shepherds, Sa- 
maichas, Rajars, and others, who 
are all migratory, and shift with their 
flocks as they consume the pastures. 
There is plenty of water in this space 
for all their wants, chiefly springs. 


Udhania (7 do.). — Twelve huts ; no water between it and the last 
hamlet. 

Nala (5 do.). — Descent from the ihal or desert, which ceases a mile 
east of the nala or stream, said to be the same which issues 
from the Indus at Data, above Rohri-Bakhar ; thence it 
passes east of Sohrab’s Khairpur, and by dinar to Bersia-ka- 
rar, whence there is a canal cut to Umarkot and Chor. 

Mitrao (4 do.). — Village of sixty houses, inhabited by Baloch ; a 
thana, or post here from Haidarabad ; occasional low sand- 
hills. 

Mir-ki-kui (6 do.). — Three detached hamlets of ten huts each, 
inhabited by Aroras. 

Sheopuri (3 do.). — One hundred and twenty houses, chiefly 
Aroras : small fort of six bastions to the south-east, gar- 
risoned from Haidarabad, 

Kamera-ka-Nala (6 do.). — This nala issues from the Indus between 
Kakar-ki-basti and Sakrand, and passes eastward ; probably 
the bed of an old canal, with w'hich the country is everywhere 
intersected. 

Sakrand (2 do.). — One hundred houses, one-third of wliich are 
Hindus ; patches of cultivation ; numerous watercourses 
neglected ; everywhere overgrown with jungle, chiefly jhau 
and [333] khejra (tamarisk and acacia). Cotton, indigo, rice, 
wheat, barley, peas, grain, and maize grow on the banks of 
the watercourses. 

Jatui (2 do.). — Sixty houses ; a nala between it and Jatui. 

Kazi-ka-Shahr (4 do.). — Four hundred houses ; two nalas 
intervene. 



1312 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Makera (4 coss). — Sixty houses ; a iiala between it and Jatui. 
Kakar-ki-basti (6 do.). — Sixteen houses ; half-way the remains of 
an ancient fortress ; three canals or nalas intervening ; the 
village placed upon a mound four miles from the Indus, w'hose 
waters overflow it during the periodic monsoon. 

Pura or Hamlet (1 do.). — A ferry. 

The Indus (1 do.). — Took boat and crossed to 
Sewan or Sehwan (IJ do.). — A low'n of twelve hundred houses on 
the right bank, belonging to Haidarabad ‘ [334]. 

' Sehwan is erected on an elevation within a few hundred yards of the 
river, having many clumps of trees, especially to the south. The houses are 
built of clay, often three stories high, with wooden pillars supporting the 
floors. To the north of the town are the remains of a very ancient and 
extensive fortress, sixty of its bastions being still visible ; and in the centre 
the vestiges of a palace stiU knowui as Raja Bhartrihari-ka-Mahall, who is 
said to have reigned here when driven from Ujjam by his brother Vikrama- 
ditya. Although centuries have flown since the Hindus had any power in 
these regions, their traditions have remained. They relate that Bhartrihari, 
the eldest sou of Gaudharap Sen, was so devoted to his wife, that he neglected 
the affairs of government, which made his brother expostulate with him. 

This coming to his wife’s ears, she insisted on the banishment of Vikrama. 

Soon after a celebrated ascetic reached his court, and presented to Bharlii- 
hari the Amarphul, or ' fruit of immortality,’ the reward of years of austere 
devotion at the shrine of Mahadeo. Bhartrihari gave it to his wife, who 
bestowed it on an elephant-driver, her paramour ; he to a common prosti- 
tute, his mistress ; who expecting to be highly rewarded for it, carried it 
to the raja. Incensed at such a decided proof of infidelity, Bhartrihari, x 
presenting himself before his queen, asked for the prize — she had lost it. 
Havmg produced it, she was so overwhelmed with shame that she rushed 
from his presence, and precipitating herself from the walls of the palace, 
was dashed to pieces. Raja Bhartrihari consoled himself with another 
wife. Rani Pingula, to whose charms ho in like manner became enslaved ; 
but experience had taught him suspicion. Having one day rune a-huiiting, 
his huntsman shot a deer, whose doe coming to the spot, for a short tin e 
contemplated the body, then threw herself on his antlers and died. The 
Shikari, or huntsman, who had fallen asleep, was killed by a huge snake. 

His wife came to seek him, supposing him still asleep, but at length seeing 
he was dead, she collected leaves, dried reeds, and twigs, and havhig made 
a pyre, placed the body under it ; after the usual perambulations she set 
fire to, and perished with it. The raja, who witnessed these proceedings, 
went home and conversed with Pingulani on these extraordinary Satis, 
especially the Shikari’s, which he called unparalleled. Pmgulaui disputed 
the point, and said it was the sacrifice of passion, not of love ; had it been 
the latter, grief would have required no pyre. Some time after, having 
again gone a-hunting, Bhartrihari recalled this conversation, and having 
slain a deer, he dipped his clothes in the blood, and sent them by a confi- 
dential messenger to report his death in combat with a tiger. Pingulani 
heard the details ; she wept not, neither did she speak, but prostrating 
herself before the sun, ceased to exist. The pyre was raised, and her 



ITINERARY 


1313 


Sehwan to Haidarabad 

4 •• 

' Jat-ki-basti (2 coss). — The word jat or jat is here pronounced Zjat. 

This hamlet ‘ basti,’ is of tlrirty huts, half a mile from the 
j Indus : hills close to the village. 


remains were consuming outside the city as the raja returned from his 
excursion. , Hastening to the spot of laiiieutation, and learning the fatal 
issue of his artifice, he threw off the trappings of sovereignty, put on the 
pilgrim’s garb, and abandoned Ujjain to Vikrama. The only word which 
^ he uttered, as he wandered to and fro, was the name of his faithful Pingulani ! 
^ “ Hae Pingula ! Hae Pingula ! ” The royal pilgrim at length fixed his 
abode at Sehwan ; but although they point out the ruins of a palace still 
known even to the Islamite as the Am-khass of Raja Bhartrihari, it is ad- 
mitted that the fortress is of more ancient date. There is a mandir, or 
shrine, to the south of the town, also called, after him, Bhartri-ka-mandir. 
In this the Islamite has deposited the mortal remains of a saint named 
»Lal Pir Shahbaz, to whom they attribute their victorious possession of 
■^Sind.'- The cenotaph of this saint, who has the character of a proselyte 
Hindu, is in the centre of the mandir, and surrounded by wooden stakes. 
It is a curious spectacle to see both Islamite and Hindu paying their devo- 
tions in the same place of worship ; and although the first is prohibited 
from approaching the sacred enceinte of the Pir, yet both adore a large 
salagram, that vermiculatcd fossil sacred to Vishnu, placed in a niche in 
the tomb. The fact is a curious one, and although these Islamite adorers 
■* are the scions of conversion, it perhaps shows in the strongest manner that 
this conversion was of the sword, for, generally speaking, the eonverted 
Hindu makes the most bigoted and intolerant Musalman. My faithful and 
intelligent emissaries, Madari Lai and the Dhati, brought me a brick from 
’’ the ruins of this fortress of Sehwan. It was about a cubit in length, and of 
i' symmetrical breadth and thickness, uncommonly well burnt, and rang like 
^ a beU. They also brought me some charred wheat, from pits where it had 
'libooii burned. The grains were entire and reduced to a pure carbon. Tradi- 
tion is again at work, and asserts its having lain there for some thousand 
years. There is very httle doubt that this is the site of one of the antagonists 
of the Macedonian conqueror, perhaps Mousikanos,^ or Mukh-Sehwan, the 
chief of Sehwan. The passage of the Grecian down the Indus w'as marked 
by excesses not inferior to those of the Ghaznavede king in later times, and 
■< doubtless they fired all they could not plunder to carry to the fleet. There 
r is also a Nanak-bara, or place of worship sacred to Hanak, the great apostle of 
the Sikhs, placed between the fortress and the river. Sehwan is inhabited 
by Hindus and Islamites in equal proportions : of the former, the mercantile 


[The reference is to Lai Shahbaz, Qalandar, head of the Jalali order, 
who died at Sehwan, A.c. 1274. For a full accoimt see R. F. Burton, 
Sindh, 211 f.] 

® [Mousikanos was the stiff-necked king of Alor or Aror who opposed 
Alexander, was captured and executed (Smith, EHI, 100 f. ; MoGrindle, 
Alexander, 396).] 



1314 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Sainaicha-ki-basti (2J coss). — Small village. 

Eakhi (2J do.). — Sixty houses ; one mile and a half from the 
river : canal on the north side of the village ; banks well 
cultivated. In the lulls, two miles west, is a spot sacred 
to Parbati and Mahadeo, where are several springs, three , 
of which are hot.^ 

Umri (2 do.). — Twenty-live houses, half a mile from River ; the 
lulls not lofty, a coss west. 

Siimri (3 do.). — Fifty houses, on the River hills ; one and a half 
coss west. 

Sindu or San (4 do.). — Two hundred houses and a bazar, two 
hundred yards from the River ; hills one and a half coss west. ^ 

Manjhand (4^ do.). — On the River two hundred and fifty houses, 
considerable trade ; hills two coss west. 

Umar-ki-basti (3 do.). — A few huts, near the river. 

Sayyid-ki-basti (3 do.). 

Shikarpur (4 do.). — On the river ; crossed to the east side. 


tribe of Mahesri from Jaisaltner, is the most numerous, and have been fixed 
here for generations. There are also many Brahmans of the Pokharua * 
caste, Sunars or goldsmiths, and other Hindu artisans ; of the Muslims the 
Sayyid is said to be the most numerous class. The Hindus are the monied 
men. Cotton and indigo, and great quantities of rice in the husk (paddy), 
grown in the vicinage of Sehwan, are exported to the ports of Tatta and 
Karachi Bandar by boats of considerable burthen, manned entirely by 
Muhammadans. The Hakim of Sehwan is sent from Haidarabad. The ^ ■ 

range of mountams which stretch from Tatta nearly ]>araUel with the Indus, ' ^ 

approaches within three miles of Sehwan, and there turns off to the north- 
west. All these hills are inhabited as far as the shrine of Hinglaj Mata ^ 
on the coast of Mekran (placed in the same range) by the Lumri, or Numii 
tribe, who though styling themselves Baloch, are date in origin.^ 

* Those springs are frequented, despite the difficulties and dangers of , . 

the route from the savage Numri, by numerous Hindu pilgrims. Two of 
them are hot, and named Suryakund and Chandrakund, or fountains of 
the sun and moon, and imbued with especial virtues ; but before the pilgrim 
can reap any advantage by purification in their waters, he must undergo 
the rite of confession to the attendant priests, who, through intercession 
with Mahadeo, have the power of granting absolution. Should a sinner be 
so hardened as to plunge in without undergoing this preparatorj- ordeal, he ** 
comes out covered with bods ! ! ! This is a curious confirmation that the 
confessional rite is one of veiy ancient usage amongst the Hindus, even in 
the days of Rama of Kosala.— See Vol. I, p. 94. 

^ See Amials of Jaisalmer, Vol. IL p. 1256. 

- This famous shrine of'the Hindu Uybele, yet frequented by numerous 
votaries, is nine days’ journey from Tatta by Karachi Bandar, and about 
nine miles from the seashore. 

® These are the Nomurdies of Rennel. [See p. 1299 above.] 



ITINERARY 


1315 


, Ilaidarabad (3 coss). — One and a half coss from the river Indus. 
Haidarabad to Nasarpur, nine coss ; to Sheodadpur, eleven 
do. ; to Sheopuri, seventeen do. ; to Rohri-Bakhar, six 
do. — total forty-three coss. 

Haidarabad via Umarkot, to Jaisalnier 

Sindu Khan ki-basti (3 do.). — ^\Vest bank of Phuleli river. 

Tajpur (3 do.). — Large town, north-east of Haidarabad [335]. 

Katrel (1| do.). — A hundred houses. 

Nasarpur (IJ do.). — East of Tajpur, large town. 

• i Alahyar-ka-Tanda (4 do.). — A considerable town built by Alahyar 
Khan, brother of the late Ghulaiu Ali, and lying south-east 
of Nasarpur. Two coss north of the town is the Sangra Nala 
or Bawa,^ said to issue from the Indus between Hala and 
Sakrand and passing Jandila. 

Mirbah (5 do.). — Forty houses ; Bah, Tanda, Got, Purwa, are all 
synonymous terms for habitations of various degrees. 
-^Sunaria (7 do.). — Forty houses. 

Dangana (4 do.). — To this handet extend the flats of Sind. 
Sandhills five and six miles distant to the north. A small 
river runs under Dangana. 

Karsana (7 do.). — A hundred houses. Two coss east of Karsana 
are the remains of an ancient city ; brick buildings still 
remaining, with well and reservoirs. Sandhills two to three 
i coss to the northward. 

Umarkot (8 do.). — There is one continued plain from Haidarabad 
to Umarkot, which is built on the low ground at the very 
^ extremity of the thal or sand-hills of the desert, here com- 

> mencing. In all this space, estimated at forty-four kachha 

' coss, or almost seventy miles of horizontal distance, as far 
as Simaria the soil is excellent, and plentifully irrigated by 
“ ■ bawahs, or canals from the Indus. Around the vUlages 
- there is considerable cultivation ; but notwithstanding the 

^ natural fertility, there is a vast quantity of jungle, ehicfly 
babul (Mimosa arabica), the evergreen jhal, and jhau or 
tamarisk. From Sunaria to Umarkot is one continued 
jungle, in which there are a few cultivated patches dependent 
" on the heavens for irrigation ; the soil is not so good as the 

first portion of the route. 

Katar (4 do.). — A mile east of Umarkot commences the thal or 
sandhills, the ascent a hundred and fifty to two hundred 
feet. A few huts of Samaichas who pasture ; two wells. 

Dhat-ki-basti (4 do.). — A few huts ; one well ; Dhats, Sodhas, 
and Sindis cultivate and pasture. 

This is the Sankra of Nadir Shah’s treaty with Muhammad Shah of 

India, which the conqueror made the boundary between India and Persia, 

by which he obtained the whole of that fertile portion of the valley of Sind, 

east of that stream. Others say it issues from Dara, above Rohri Bakhar. 


1316 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN ^DESERT 


Dharnas (8 coss). — A hundred houses, chiefly I’okharna Brahmans 
and Banias, who purchase up the ghi from the pastoral 
tribes, which they export to Bhuj and the valley. It is also 
an entrepot for trade ; caravans from the cast exchange 
their goods for the ghi, here very cheap, from the vast flocks 
pastured in the Rui. 

Khcrlu-ka-Par (3 do.). — Numerous springs (par) and hamlets 
scattered throughout this tract. 

Lancia (IJ do.). — A hundred houses ; water brackish ; conveyed 
by camels from Kherlu. 

Bhoj-ka-Par (3 do.). — Huts ; wells ; patches of cultivation. 

Bhu (6 do.). — Huts. 

Garara (10 do.). — A small town of three hundred houses, belong- 
ing to Sawai Singh Sodha, with several puras or hamlets 
attached to it. This is the boundary between Dhat or the 
Sodha raj and Jaisalmer. Dhat is now entirely incorporated 
in Sind. A dani, or collector of the transit duties, resides 
here. 

Harsani (10 do.). — Three hundred houses, chiefly Bhattis. It 
belongs to a Rajput of this tribe, now dependent on Marwar 
[336]. 

Jinjiniali (10 do.). — Three hundred houses. Tliis is the fief of 
the chief noble of Jaisalmer ; his name Ketsi,' Bhatti. It 
is the border town of Jaisalmer. There is a small mud 
fortress, and several talaos, or sheets of water, which contain 
water often during three-fourths of the year ; and con- 
siderable cultivation in the little valleys formed by the 
tibas, or sand-ridges. About two mile^ north of Jinjiniali 
there is a village of Charans. 

Gaj Singh-ki-basti (2 do.). — Thirty-five houses. Water scarce, 
brought on camels from the Charan village. 

Hamirdeora (5 do.). — Two hundred houses. There are several 
beras or pools, about a mile north, whither water is brought 
on camels, that in the village being saline. The ridge of 
rocks from Jaisalmer here terminates. 

Chelak (o do.). — Eighty houses ; wells ; Chelak on the ridge. 

Bhopa (7 do.). — Forty houses ; wells ; small talao or pool. 

Bhao (2 do.). — Two hundred houses ; pool to the west ; small 
wells. 

Jaisahner (5 do.). — Eighty-five and a half coss from Umarkot 
to Jaisalmer by this route, which is circuitous. That by 
Jinjiniali 26 coss, Girab 7, Nilwa 12, Umarkot 25 — in all 70 
pakka coss, or about 150 miles. Caravans or kitars of 
camels pass in four days, kasids or messengers in three and 
a half, travelling night and day. The last 25 coss, or 50 
miles, is entire desert : add to this -If. short coss from Haidara- 
bad to Umarkot, making a total of 129J coss. The most" 


r 







* See Annals of Jaisalmer for an account of the murder of this chieftam 

Vol. II. p. 1233. 



ITINERARY 


1317 


direct road is estimated at 105 pakka coss, which, allowing 
for sinuosities, is equal to about 195 English miles. 

Total of this route, 85J coss. 


Jaisalmer to Haidarabad, by Baisnau 

‘Kuldar (5 coss). 

Khaba (5 do.). 

Lakha-ka-ganw (30 do.). — Desert the whole way ; no hamlets 
or water, 
baisnau (8 do.). 

Bersia-ka-Rar (16 do.). — ^Wells. 

Thipra (3 do.). 

Mata-ka-dher (7 do.). — Umarkot distant 20 coss. 

Jandila (8 do.). 

Alahyar-ka Tanda (10 do.). — Sankra, or Sangra nala. 

In the fornrer route the distance from 
Tajpur (4 do.). Alahyar-ka -Tanda, by the town of 

,Tam-ka-Tanda (2 do.). Nasarpur, is called 13 coss, or two 
Haidarabad (5 do.). 1 more than this. There are five nalas 

or canals in the last five coss. 

Total of this route, 103 coss. 


Jaisalmer, by Shahgarh, to Khairpur of Mir Sohrab 

Anasagar (2 do.). 

Chonda (2 do.). 

Pani-ka-tar (3 do.). — Tar or Tir, springs [337]. 

Pani-ki-kuchri (7 do.). — No village. 

Kuriala (4 do.). 

Shahgarh (20 do.'). — Rui or waste all this distance. Shahgarh 
is the boundary ; it has a small castle of six bastions, a 
post of Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind. 

Garsia (6 do.). 

Garhar (28 do.). — ^Rui or desert the whole way ; not a drop of 
water. There are two routes branching off from Garhar, 
one to Khairpur, the other to Ranipur. 

Baloch-ki-ba^i (5 do.). Hiandets of Baloch and Samaichas. 

Samaicha-ki-basti (5 do.). J 

Nala (2 do.). — The same stream which flows from Dara, and 
through the ancient city of Alor ; it marks the boundary of 
the desert. 


' Shaikh Abu-l-barakat makes the distance only nine coss from Shahgarh 
to Kuriala, and states the important fact of crossing the dry bed of the 
Ghaggar, five coss west of Kuriala ; water found plentifully by digging in 
the bed. Nuinerou.s beras, to which the shepherds drive their flocks. 


1318 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Khairpur ^ (18 coss). — ^Mir Sohrab, governor of Upper Sind, and 
brother of the prince of Haidarabad, resides here. He has 
erected a stone fortress of twelve bastions, called Nawak()t 
or New-castle. The 18 coss from the nnUi to Khairpur is 
flat, and marks the breadtli of the valley here. The follow- 
ing towns are of conscfiuencc. 

Khairpur to Larkhana. — Twenty coss west of the Indus, held by 
Karam Ali, son of the prince of Haidarabad. 

IHiairpur to Lakhi. — Fifteen coss, and five from Shikarpur. 

Khairpur to Shikarpur (20 do.). 

Garhar to Raniptir 


Pharara (10 do.). — A village of fifty houses, inhabited by Sindis 
and Karars ; several hamlets around. A dani, or collector 
of transit dues, resides here on the part of Mir Sohrab, the 
route being travelled by kitars or caravans of camels. The 
nala from Dara passes two coss east of Pharara, which is on 
the extremity of the desert. Commencement of the ridge 
called Takar, five coss west of Pharara, extending to Rohri 
Bakhar, sixteen coss distant from Pharara. From Pharara 
to the Indus, eighteen coss, or thirty miles breadth of the 
valley here. 

Ranipur* (18 do.). 


Jaisalmer to Rohri Bakhar 

Kuriala (18 do.). — See last route. 

Banda (4 do.). — A tribe of Muslims, called Undar, dwell here. 

Gotru (16 do.).^ — Boundary of Jaisalmer and Upper Sind. A 
small castle and garrison of Mir Sohrab’s ; two wells, one 
inside ; and a hamlet of thirty huts of Samaichas and Undars ; 
iibas heavy. 

Udat (32 do.). — Thirty huts of shepherds ; a small mud fortress. 
Rui, a deep and entire desert, throughout all this space ; 
no water [338]. 

Sankram or Sangram (16 do.). — Half the distance sand-hills, the 
rest numerous temporary hamlets constructed of the juar, 
or maize stalks ; several water-courses. 

Nala-Sangra (J do.). — This nala or stream is from Dara, on the 
Sind, two coss and a half north of Rohri Bakhar ; much 
cultivation ; extremity of the sand-hills. 

Targatia (J do.). — A large town ; Bankers and Banias, here 
termed Karar and Samaichas. 

Low ridge of hills, called Takar (4 do.). — This little chain of 
‘ [IGI, XV. 215 f.] 

' ^ Considerable town on the high road from Upper to Lower Sind. See 

subsequent route. 







ITINERARY 


1319 


I 

I 

’ siliciotis rocks runs north and south ; Nawakot, the New- 

castle of Sohrab. is at the foot of them ; they extend beyond 
Pliarara, which is sixteen coss from Rohri Bakhar. Gumat is 
six coss from Nawakot. 

Rohri (4 coss). "i On the rid<fe, on the left hank of the Indus. 
''f Bakhar (i do.). . Crossed over to Bakhar ; breadth of the 
Sakhar () do.). I river near a mile. Bakhar is an island, and 
the other branch to Sakhar is almost a mile 
over also. This insulated rock is of silex, specimens of which 
I possess. There are the remains of the ancient fortress of 
Mansura, named in honour of the Caliph Al-Mansur, whose 
V lieutenants made it the capital of Sind on the opening of 

^ their conquests. It is yet more famed as the capital of the 

Sogdoi of Alexander ; in all probability a corruption of 
Sodha, the name of the tribe which has ruled from immemorial 
ages, and who till very lately held Umarkot. 

N.B . — -Kasids or messengers engage to carry despatches 
from Jaisalmer to Rohri Bakhar in four days and a half ; 
a distance of one hundred and twelve coss. 


Bakhar to Shikarpur 

Lakhi, also called Lakhisar (12 do.). 

Sindu Nala (3i do.). 

Shikarpur (| do.). 

Total of this route, 16 do. 

/If Bakhar to Larkhana (28 do.). 

•t . iwhikarpur to Larkhana (20 do.). 

I Jaisalmer to Dahir Ali Khairpur 

} Kuriala (18 do.). 

Khara (20 do.). — Rui or desert all the way. This is the dohadd, 
or mutual boundary of Upper Sind and Jaisalmer, and there 
is a small mitti-ka-kot or mud fort, jointly held by the 
respective troops ; twenty huts and one well. 

Sutiala (20 do.). — Rui all the way. A dani for the coUeetion of 
duties ; six wells. 

Khairpur (Dahir Ali) (20 do.). — Rui, and deep jungle of the ever- 
* greens called laiva and jhal, from Sutiala to lUiairpur. 

Total of this route, 78 do. 

Khairpur (Dahir Ali) to Ahmadpur 

Ubaura (6 do.). — Considerable town ; Indus four coss west. 
^^^j5abzal-ka-kot (8 do.). — Boundary of Upper Sind and Daudputra. 
This frontier castle, often disputed, was lately taken by Mir 
' Sohrab from Bahawal Khan. Numerous hamlets and water- 
courses [339]. 


1320 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Ahmadpur (8 coss). — Considerable garrison town of Daudputra ; 
two battalions and sixteen guns. 

Total of this route, 22 coss. 


Khairpur (Dabir Ali) to Haidarabad 


Mirpur (8 do.). — Four coss from the Indus. 

Matela (5 do.). — Four coss from the Indus. 

Gotki (7 do.). — ^Two coss from the Indus. 

Dadla (8 do.). — Two coss from the Indus. 

Rohri Bakhar (20 do.). — ^Numerous hamlets .and temporary 
villages, with many water-courses for ctiltivation in all this 
space. 


Coag. 


Khairpur 

■ 18 

(Sohrab-ka 

-)/ 

Gnmat . 

. 8 

Ranipur 

2 

(See route to It from 

(.iarliar). 
Hingor . 

. 5 

Bhiranapur 

. 5 

Haliani 

. 1 

Kanjara 

. 3 

Naushahra 

. 8 

Mora . 

. 7 

Shahpura 

. 3 

Daulatpur 

. 3 

Mirpur . 

. 3 

Kazi-ka-Got 

. 9 

Sakrand . 

. 11 

Hala 

. 7 

Khardao 

. 4 

Matari . 

. 4 

Haidarabad 

. 6 


Six coss from the Indus. 


The coss in this distance seems a medinm 
between the pakka of two coss and the 
k.achha of one and a half. The medium of 
one and three quarter miles to each coss, 
deducting a tenth for windings, appears, 
after numerous comparisons, to be just. 
This is alike applicable to all Upper Sind. 


On the Indus. Here Madari crossed to 
Sehwan, and returned to Mirpur. 

The coss about two miles each ; wdiich, de- 
ducting one in ten for windings of the road, 
may be protracted. 


Total 145 coss. 


Jaisalmer to Iklityar Khan-ki-Garhi 


r These villages are all inhabited by P.aliwal 
I Brahmans, and are in the tract termed 
I Kandal or Khadal, of which Katori, eight 
coss north of Jaisalmer, is the chief town of 
about forty villages . — N.B. All towns with 
the affix of sar have pools of water. 
Nohar-ki-Garhi (25 do .). — Rui or desert throughout this space. 
The castle of Nohar is of brick, and now belongs to Daud- 
putra, who captured it from the Bhattis of Jaisalmer. About 


Brahmsar (4 coss). 
Mordesar ( 3do.) . 
Gugadeo (3 do.) . 
Kaimsar (5 do.) . 


ITINERARY 


1321 


forty huts and little cultivation. It is a place of toll for the 
kitars or caravans ; two rupees for each [340] camel-load of 
ghi, and fotir for one with sugar ; half a rupee for each camel, 
and a third for an ox laden with grain. 

Murid Kot (24 coss ). — Uni or desert. Rangarh is four coss east 
of this. 

Ikhtyar-ki-Garhi (15 do .). — Rtii until the last four coss, or eight 
miles. Thence the descent from the iibas or sand-hills to the 
valley of the Indus. 

Total of this route, 79 coss. Ikhtyar to Ahmadpur 18 coss 

„ Khanpur . 5 ,, 

* „ Sultanpur . 8 


Jaisalmer to Sheo-Kotra, Kheralu, Chhotan, Nagar-Parkar, 
Mitti, and return to Jaisalmer. 




Dabla (3 do.). — ^Tliirty houses, Pokhama Brahmans. 

Akali (2 do.). — Thirty houses, Chauhans, well and small talao. 

Chor (5 do,). — Sixty houses, mixed classes. 

Devikot (2 do.).— A small town of two hundred houses ; belongs 
to the Jaisalmer flsc or khalisa. There is a little fort and 
garrison. A talao or pool excavated by the Paliwals, in 
which water remains throughout the year after much rain. 

Sangar (6 do.). — N. B. This route is to the east of that (following) 
by Chineha, the most direct road to Balotra. and the one 

^ usually travelled ; but the villages are now deserted. 

TBiasar (2 do.). — Forty houses, and talao. Bhikarae 2 coss 
distant. 

Mandai (frontier) (2J do.). — Two hundred and fifty houses. 
Sahib Khan Sahariya with a hundred horse is stationed 
here ; the town is khalisa and the last of Jaisalmer. The 
ridge from Jaisalmer is close to all the places on this route 
to Mandi. 

Gunga (4J do.). — Thana, or post of Jodhpur. 

Sheo (2 do.). — A large town of three hundred houses, but many 
deserted, some through famine. Chief of a district. A 
Hakim resides here from Jodhpur ; collects the transit dues, 
and protects the country from the depredations of the 
Sahariyas. 

Kotra (3 do.). — Town of five hundred houses, of which only two 
hundred are now inhabited. On the north-west side is a 
fort, on the ridge. A Rathor chief resides here. The district 
of Sheo Kotra was taken from the Bhattis of Jaisalmer by 
the Rathors of Jodhpur. 

'Vesala (6 do.). — In ancient times a considerable place ; now 
only fifty houses. A fort on the ridge to the south-west, 
near two hundred feet high ; connected with the Jaisalmer 
ridge, but often covered by the lofty tibas of sand. 

VOL. Ill 


r 


1322 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


Kheralu (7 coss).- — Capital of Kherdhar, one of the ancient divi- 
sions of Marusthali. Two coss south of Vesala crossed a 


pass over the hills. 

Chhotan (10 do.). — An ancient city, now in ruins, having at 
present only about eighty houses, inhabited by the Sahariyas 
[341]. 

Bankasar (11 do.). Formerly a large city, now only about 
three hundred and sixty houses. 


Bhil-ki-basti (5 do ) ) 

Chauhan-ka-pura (6 do.) j 

Nagar (3 do.). — A large town, capital of Parkar, containing one 
thousand five hundred houses, of which one-half arc in- 


habited. 


Kaim Khan Sahariya-ki-basti (18 do.). — Thirty houses in the 
thal ; wells, with water near the surface ; three coss to the 
east the boundary of Sind and the Chauhan Raj. 
Dhat-ka-pura (15 do.). — A hamlet ; Rajputs, Bhils, and Saha- 


riyas. 

Mitti or Mittri-ka-kot (3 do.). — A town of six hundred houses in 
Dhat, or the division of Umarkot belonging to Haidarabad ; 
a relative of whose prince, with the title of Naw'ab, resides 
here ; a place of great commerce, and also, of transit for the 
caravans ; a fortified mahall to the south-west. When the 
Shah of Kabul used to invade Sind, the Haidarabad prince 
always took refuge here with his family and valuables. The 
sand-hills are immensely high and formidable. 

Chailasar (10 do.). — Four hundred houses, inhabited by Saharij-as, 
Brahmans, Bijaranis, and Banias ; a place of great import- 
ance to the transit trade. 



Samaicha-ki-basti (10 do .). — Thai from Chailasar. 

Nur Ali, Pani-ka-Tar (9 do.). — Sixty houses of Charans, Sultana 
Rajputs and Kauravas (qu. the ancient Kauravas ?) water 
(pani-ka-tar) plenty in the thal. '• 

Rual (5 do.). — Twelve hamlets termed has, scattered round a 
tract of several coss, inhabited by different tribes, after 
whom they are named, as Sodha, Sahariya, Kaurava, Brah- 
man, Bania and Sutar, as Sodha-ka-bas, Sahariya-ka-bas, or 
habitations of the Sodhas ; of the Sahariyas, etc. etc. (see 
p. 1263). ^ 

Deli (7 do.). — One hundred houses; a dani, or collector of 
duties, resides here. \ 

Garara (10 do.).^ — ^Described in route from Umarkot to Jaisalmer. ^ 
Raedana (11 do.). — Forty houses ; a lake formed by damming up 
the water. Agar, or salt-pans. 

Kotra (9 do.). 

Sheo (3 do.). — The whole space from Nagar to Sheo-Kotra is a jBlf J 
continuous mass of lofty sand-hills (ihal-ka-tiba), scattered 
with hamlets (purwas), in many parts affording abxmdant 
pasture for flocks of sheep, goats, buffaloes, and camels ; 


ITINERARY 


1823 


the thal extends south to Nawakot and Balwar, about ten 
coss south of the former and two of the latter. To the left 
of Nawakot are the flats of Talpura, or Low'er Sind. 


Jaisalmer to Sheo Kotra, Barmer, Nagar-Gura and Suigam. 


Dhana (5 coss). — Two hundred houses of Paliwals ; pool and 
wells ; ridge two to three hundred feet high, cultivation 
between the ridges. 

jjChincha (7 do.). — Small hamlet ; Sara, half a coss east ; ridge, 
low thal, cultivation. 

■ Jasrana (2 do.). — Thirty houses of Paliwals, as before ; Kita 

to the right half a coss. 

Unda (1 do.). — Fifty houses of Paliwals and Jain Rajputs ; wells 
and pools ; country as before [342]. 

Sangar (2 do.). — Sixty houses ; only fifteen inhabited, the rest 
fled to Sind during the famine of 1813 ; Charans. Grand 
thal commences. 

Sangar-ka-talao (\ do.). — Water remains generally eight months 
in the talao or pool, sometimes the whole year. 

I'Betwcen is the sandh or boundary of Jaisal- 

Bhikarae (IJ do.) | mer and Jodhpur. Bhikarae has one 

Kharel (4 do.) j hundred and twenty houses of Paliwals ; 

, I wells and pools at both places. 

■ Rajarel (1 do.). — Seventy houses ; most deserted since famine. 

i^tonga (4 do.). — Hamlet of twenty huts ; betas, or small wells and 

'i. pools ; to this the ridge and thal intermingle. 

Sheo (2 do.). — Capital of the district. 

Nimla (4 do.). — Forty houses ; deserted. 

i Bhadka (2 do.). — Four hundred houses ; deserted. This is “ the 

-r third year of famine ! ” 

...Kapulri (3 do.). — Thirty huts, deserted ; wells. 

■ ’Jalepa (3 do.). — Twenty huts ; deserted. 

Nagar (Gurha) (20 do.). — This is a large town on the west bank 
of the Luni River, of four to five hundred houses, but many 
deserted since the famine, which has almost depopulated 
this region. In 1813 the inhabitants were flying as far as 
the Ganges, and selling themselves and offspring into slavery 

I to save life. 

I Barmer (6 do.). — A town of twelve hundred houses. 

t Guru (2 do.). — ^West side of the Luni ; town of seven hundred 
houses ; the chief is styled Rana, and of the Chauhan tribe. 

Bata (3 do.). — West side of river. 

dot' 

1 Ranas (3 do.). — ^East side of river. 

^Charani (2 do.). — Seventy houses ; east side. 

(2 



1324 


SKETCH OF THE INDIAN DESERT 


of river ; belonging to a Chauhan chief, styled Rana. Sanchor 
seven coss to the south. 

Ratra (2 coss). — East side of river ; deserted. 

Hotiganw (2 do.). — South side of river ; temple to Phulmukhes- 
war Mahadeo. 

niiiifa /o rir. \ fNorth side. On the west side the thal is very 

Tani do 1 heavy ; east side is plain ; both sides well 

P ( cultivated. 

Lalpura (2 do.). — ^\Vest side. 

Surpura (1 do.). — Crossed river. 

Sanloti (2 do.). — Eighty houses, east side of river. 

Butera (2 do.). — East side ; relation of the Rana resides here. 

Narke (4 do.). — South side river ; Bhils and Sonigiras. 

Karoi (4 do.). — Sahariyas [343]. 

Pitlana (2 do.). — Large village ; Kolis and Pitals. 

Dharanidhar (3 do.). — Seven or eight hundred houses, nearly 
deserted, belonging to Suigam. 

Bah (4 do.). — Capital of Rana Narayan Rao, Chauhan prince of 
Virawah. 

Luna (5 do.). — One hundred houses. 

Sui (7 do.). — Residence of Chaulian chief. 



Balotra on the Luni River to Pokaran and Jaisalmer. 

Panchbhadra (3 do.). — Balotra fair on the 11th Magh — continues 
ten days. Balotra has four to five hundred houses in the ^ 
tract called Siwanchi ; the ridge unites with Jalor and * \ 
Siwana. Panchbhadra has two hundred houses, almost all ^ 
deserted since the famine. Here is the celebrated Agar, or ' 
salt -lake, yielding considerable revenue to the government. 

Gopti (2 coss). — Forty houses ; deserted ; one coss"^ north of tliis 

the deep thal commences. , . , 

Patod (4 do.). — A considerable conomercial mart ; four hundred 
houses ; cotton produced in great quantities. 

Sivai (4 do.). — Two hundred houses, almost deserted. 

Serara (1 do.). — Sixty houses. To Patod the tract is termed 
Siwanchi ; from thence Indhavati, from the ancient lords 
of the Indha tribe. 

Bungara has seventy houses, Solankitala four W 
hundred, and Pongali sixty. Throughout 
sand-hills. This tract is called Thalecha, 
and the Rathors who inhabit it, Thalecha 
Rathors. There are many of the Jat or 
Jat tribe as cultivators. Pongali a Charan 
community. 

Bakri (5 do.). — One hundred houses ; inhabited by Charans. 

Dholsar (4 do.). — Sixty houses, inhabited by Paliwal Brahmans. 

Pokaran (4 do.). — From Bakri commences the Pokaran district ; 
all flat, and though sandy, no tibas or hills. 


Bungara (3 do.) I 
Solankitala (4 do.) 
Pongali (5 do.) 



ITINERARY 


1325 


Udhania (6 coss). — Fifty houses ; a pool the south side. 

Lahti (7 do.). — Three hundred houses ; Pahwal Brahmans, 
c /iv.qI- 1 . 1 - 1 ‘f fir. \ f Sodhakur has thirty houses and Chandan fifty ; 
riu r/i”rir. \ \ Paliwals. Dry nala at the latter ; water 

Channda (4 do.) ^ obtained by digging in its bed. 

Bhojka (3 do.). — One coss to the left is the direct road to Basanki, 
seven coss from Chandan. 

Basanki-talao (5 do.). — One himdred houses ; Paliwals. 

Moklet (IJ do.). — Twelve houses ; Pokhama Brahmans. 
Jaisalmer (4 do.). — From Pokaran to Udhania, the road is over a 
low ridge of rocks ; thence to Lahti is a well-cultivated plain, 
the ridge being on the left. A small thal intervenes at 
Sodhakur, thence to Chandan, plain. From Chandan to 
Basanki the road again traverses the low ridge, increasing 
in height, and with occasional cultivation, to Jaisalmer [344J. 


Bikaner to Ikhtyar Khan-ki Garhi, on the Indus. 


Nai-ki-basti (4 do.) 
Gajner (5 do.) 
Gurha (5 do.) 
Bitnok (5 do.) 
Girajsar (8 do.) 
Narai (4 do.) 


Sandy plains ; water at all these villages. 
From Girajsar, the Jaisalmer frontier, the 
tibas, or sand-hills commence, and con- 
tinue moderate to Bikampur. 


BlKampu,, (» do,) I 


rui or 
considerable 


desert all 
sand-hills 


Mohangarh(16do.)| ^ S’le.^^"”^ 

Nachna (16 do.). — Tibas, or sand-hiUs throughout this space. 
Narai (9 do.). — A Brahman village. 

Nohar-ki-Garhi (24 do.). — Deep rui or desert ; the frontier 
garrison of Sind ; the garhi, or castle, held by Haji Khan. 
Murid Kot (24 coss). — Jtui, high sand-hills. 

Garlii Ikhtyar Khan-ki (18 do.)— The best portion of this through 
the Kachhi, or flats of the valley. Garhi on the Indus. 
Total 147 coss, equal to 220J miles, the coss being about a 
mile and a half each ; 200 English miles of horizontal 
distance to be protracted [345]. 




BOOK IX 

ANNALS OF AMBERA OR DHONDIIAR 
CHAPTER 1 

By some conventional process, Europeans in India have 
adopted the habit of designating the principalities of Rajputana 
by the names of their respective capitals, instead of those of 
the countries. Thus Marwar and Mewar are recognized under 
the titles of their chief cities, Jodhpur and Udaipur ; Kotah and 
Bundi are denominations indiscriminately applied to Haravati, 
the general term of the region, which is rarely mentioned ; and 
Dhundhar is hardly known by that denomination to Europeans, 
who refer to the State only by the names of its capitals. Amber 
or Jaipur, the last of which is now universally used to designate 
the region inhabited by the Kachhwahas [346]. 

Boundaries of Jaipur State. — The map defines the existing 
bomidaries of this principality, to which I shall indiscriminately 
apply the terms (as is the practice of the natives) of Dhimdhar, 
Amber, and Jaipur. 

Etymology of Dhundhar. — ^Like all the other Rajput States, 
the country of the Kachhwahas is an assemblage of communities, 

1 This account of the Amber or Jaipur State is nearly what I communi- 
cated to the Marquess of Hastings in 1814-15. Amidst the multiplicity of 
objects which subsequently engaged my attention, I had deemed myself 
absolved from the necessity of enlarging upon it, trusting that a more 
competent pen would have superseded this essay, there having been several 
political authorities at that court since it was written. Being, however, 
unaware that anything has been done to develop its historical resources, 
which are more abundant than those of any other court of India, I think it 
right not to suppress this sketch, however imperfect. 

1327 



1328 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


the territories of which have been wrested from the aboriginal 
tribes, or from independent chieftains, at various periods ; and 
therefore the term Dhundliar, which was only one of their earUest 
acquisitions, had scarcely a title to unpose its name upon the 
aggregate. The etymology of Dhundhar is from a once cele- 
brated sacrificial mount (dhundh) on the western frontier, near 
Kalakh Jobner.^ 

The Eachhwaha Tribe.— The Kachhwaha or Kacldiwa race 
claims descent from Kusa, the second son of Rama, Iving of 
Kosala, whose capital was Ayodhj-a, the modern Oudh. Kusa, 
or some of his immediate offspring, is said to have migrated from 
the parental abode, and erected the celebrated castle of Rohtas, 
or Rolutas,- on the Son, whence, in the lapse of several genera- 
tions, another distinguished scion. Raja Nal, migrated westward, 
and in S. 351, or a.d. 295, founded the kingdom and city of Narwar, 
or classically, Naishadha.’ Some of the traditional chronicles 

^ The traditional history of the Uhauhans asseits, that this mount was 
the place of penance [tapasya) of their famed king Bisaldeo of Ajmer, who, 
for his oppression of his subjects, was transformed mto a Rakshasa, or 
Demon, in which condition he continued the evil work of his former existence, 
“ devouring his subjects ” (as hterally expressed), untd a grandchild offered 
himself as 'a victim to appease his insatiable appetite. The language of 
innocent affection made its way to the heart of the Rakshasa, who recognized 
his offspring, and winged his flight to the J umua. It might be worth whde 
to excavate the dhundh of the transformed Chauhan king, which 1 have 
some notion will prove to be his sepulchre. [According to Cunningham 
{ASH, ii. 251) there is no mound of this kind at Jobiier. He derives the 
name of the territorj^ from the river Dhundhu — Dhuiidliwar, or Dhundhar, 
meaning the land by the river Dhundhu — the river having obtained its 
name from the demon-king Dhundhu (see SCfl, xiii. 385).] 

^ Were this celebrated abode searched for niscriptioiis, they might throw 
light on the history of the descendants of Rama. [Tor Rohtasgarh in 
Shahabad District, Bengal, see IGl, xxi. 322 f.] 

^ Prefixed to a descriptive sketch of the city of Narwar (which I may 
append), the year 8. 351 is given for its ioundation by Raja Nal, but whether 
obtained from an inscription or historical legend, I know not. It, however, 
corroborates in a remarkable mamier the number of descents from Nal to 
Dhola Rae, namely, thirty-three, which, calculated according to the best 
data (see \ ol. I. p. 64), at twenty-two years to a reign, will make 726 years, 
which subtracted from 1023, the era of Dhola Rae’s migration, leaves 297, 
a difference of only fifty -four years between the computed and settled eras ; 
and if we allowed only twenty -one years to a reign, instead of twenty-two, 
as proposed in all long lines above twenty-five generations, the difference 
would be trifling. [The story is legendary. The eighth in descent from 
V'ajradaman, the first historical chief of Gwalior, who captured that fortress 





ORIGIN OF JAIPUR STATE 


1329 


record intermediate places of domicile prior to the erection of 
this famed city : first, the town of Lahar, in the heart of a tract 
yet named Kachhwahagar, or region {gar) of the Kachhwahas ; ‘ 
and secondly, that of Gwalior. Be this as it may, the descendants 
of Raja Nal adopted the affix of Pal (which appears to be the dis- 
tinguishing epithet of all the early Rajput tribes), until Sora Singh 
(thirty-third in descent from Nal), whose son, Dhola Rae, was 
i expelled the paternal abode, and in S. 1023, a.d. 967, laid the 
foundation of the State of Dhundhar [347]. 

:} A family, which traces its lineage from Rama of Kosala, Nala 
of Naishadha, and Dhola the lover of Maroni, may be allowed 
‘ the boast of heraldry ’ ; and in remembrance of this descent, 
the Kachhwahas of India celebrate with great solemnity ‘ the 
annual feast of the sun,’ on which occasion a stately car, called 
the chariot of the sun {Sitrya ratha), drawn by eight horses,' is 
brought from the temple, and the descendant of Rama, ascending 
therein, perambulates his capital. 

Origin of Jaipur State. Dhola Rae. — A case of simple usiurpa- 
tion originated the Kachhwaha State of Amber ; but it would 
be contrary to precedent if this event were imtinged with romance. 
As the episode, while it does not violate probability, illustrates 
the condition of the aboriginal tribes, we do not exclude the 
tradition. On the death of Sora Singh, prince of Narwar, his 
brother usurped the government, depriving the infant, Dhola 
Rae, of liis inheritance. His mother, clothing herself in mean 
apparel, put the infant in a basket, which she placed on her head, 
!'s and travelled westward until she reached the town of Khoganw 

, from \ ijajapMa of Kanauj (c. a.d. 955-90) was Tej Karan, otherwise 
; known as Dulha Rae, the Dhola Rae of the text, who left Gwalior about 
A.D. 1128 (Smith, EHI, 381 ; lOI, xiii. 384).] 

. We may thus, without hesitation, adopt the date 351, or a.d. 295, for the 
period of Raja Nal, whose history is one of the grand sources of delight to 
the bards of Eajputaiia. The poem rehearsing his adventures under the 
title of Nala and Damayanti (fam. Nal-Daman) was translated into Persian 
at Akbar’s command, by Paizi, brother of Abu-1 Fazl, and has since been 
made known to the admirers of Sanskrit literature by Professor Bopp of 
Berlin [Ain, i. 106 ; MacdoneU, Hist. Sanskrit Literature, 296 fi.]. 

' [Kachhwahagar or Kachhwahagarh, the former meaning the ‘ water- 
. soaked land,’ the latter the ‘ fort,’ of the Kachhwahas, is a tract between 
i the Sind and Pahuj Rivers, ceded to the British by the Gwalior State in 
'I payment of a British contingent (Elliot, Supplementary Glossary, 237, 283, 
i note).] 


1330 


ANNALS OF AjWBER OR JAIPUR 


(within five mUes of the modem Jaipur), then inhabited by the 
Minas. Distressed with hunger and fatigue, she had placed her 
precious burden on the ground, and was plucking some wild 
berries, when slie observed a hooded serpent rearing its form 
over the basket.^ She uttered a slu-iek, which attracted an 
itinerant Brahman, who told her to be under no alarm, but rather 
to rejoice at this certain indication of future greatness in the 
boy. But the emaciated parent of the founder of Amber replied, 
“ What may be in futurity I heed not, while I am sinking with 
hunger ” ; on which the Brahman put her in the way of Khoganw, 
where he said her necessities would be relieved. Taking up the 
basket, she reached the town, which is encircled by hills, and 
accosting a female, who happened to be a slave of the Mina 
chieftain, begged any menial employment lor food. By direc- 
tion of the Mina Rani, she was entertained with the slaves. One 
day she was ordered to prepare dinner, of which Ralansi, the 
Mina Raja, partook, and found it so superior to his usual fare, 
that he sent for the cook, who related her story As soon as 
•the Mina chief discovered the rank of the illustrious fugitive, he 
adopted her as his sister, and Dhola Rae as his nephew. When 
the boy had attained the age of Rajput manhood (fourteen), he 
was sent to Delhi, ^ with the tribute of Khoganw, to attend in- 
stead of the Mina. The young Kachhwaha remained there five 
years, wdien he conceived the idea of usurping his benefactor's 
authority. Having consulted the Mina Dharhi,‘ or bard, as to 
the best means of executing his plan, he recommended [848] him 
to take advantage of the festival of the DiwaU, when it is 
customary to perform the ablutions en masse, in a tank. Having 
brought a few of Iris Rajput brethren from Delhi, he accom- 
plished his object, filling the reservoirs in which the Minas bathed 
with their dead bodies. The treacherous bard did not escape ; 
Dhola Rae put him to death with Ids own hands, observing. 
He who had proved unfaithful to one master could not be 

^ [For the tale of a serpent identifying the heir see Vol. I. p. 342.] 

* [The hero in folk-tales often wins recognition by his s kill in the kitchen, 
as in the story of Shams-al-Din in the Arabian Nights ; see Tawney, Kaiha- 
sarit-sagara, i. 567.] 

’ The Tuar tribe were then supreme lords of India. 

* Dharhi, Dholi, Dora, Jaga are aU terms for the bards or minstrels of the 
Mina tribes. 


DHOLA RAE 


1331 


trusted by another.” He then took possession of Khoganw. 
Soon after he repaired to Dausa,* a castle and district ruled 
by an independent chief of the Bargujar tribe of Rajputs, whose 
daughter he demanded in marriage. “ How can this be,” said 
, the Bargujar, “ when we are both Suryavansi, and one hundred 
generations have not yet separated us ? ” ^ But being con- 
i vinced that the necessary number of descents had intervened, 
I the nuptials took place, and as the Bargujar had no male issue, 
? he resigned his power to his son-in-law. With the additional 
-• means thus at his disposal, Dhola determined to subjugate the 
, . Sira ^ tribe of IVIinas, whose chief, Rao Nata, dwelt at Machh. 
Agam he was victorious, and deeming his new conquest better 
adapted for a residence than Khoganw, he transferred his infant 
government thither, changing the name of Machh, in honour of 
\ his great ancestor, to Ramgarh. 

*>» Dhola subsequently married the daughter of the prince of 
Ajmer, whose name was Maroni.* Returning on one occasion 
with her from visiting the shrine of Jamwahi Mata,^ the whole 
force of the Minas of that region assembled, to the number of 
eleven thousand, to oppose his passage through their country. 
Dhola gave them battle : but after slaying vast numbers of 
' his foes, he was himself killed, and his followers fled. Maroni 
escaped, and bore a posthumous child, who was named Kankhal, 
, and who conquered the country of Dhundhar. His son, Maidal 

^ See Map for Dausa (wiitten Daunsa), on the Banganga River, about 
) thirty miles east of Jaipur. 

“ The Bargujar tribe claims descent from Lava or Lao, the cider son of 
Rama. As they trace fifty-six descents from Rama to Vikrama, and thirty- 
^ three from Raja Nala to Dhola Rae, we have only to calculate the number 
of generations between Vikrama and Nal, to ascertain whether Dhola’s 
genealogist went on good grounds. It was in S. 351 that Raja Nal erected 
, Narwar, which, at twenty-two years to a reign, gives sixteen to be added 
to fifty-six, and this added to thirty -three is equal to one hundred and 
five generations from Rama to Dhola Rae. [The traditional dates are 
worthless.] 

“ [See Rose, Glossary, iii. 103.] 

* [The tale of the love of Dulha or Dhola Rae for Marwan, the Maroni of 
the text, daughter of Raja Pingal of PingaJgarh in Sinhaladwipa, or Ceylon, 
as sung by the Panjab bards, is told in Temple, Legends of the Panjdb, ii. 
276 fi., iii. 97.] 

' 6 [The family deity of the Kachhwaha tribe, whose shrine is in the gorge 

1 of the river Banganga, in Jaipur State {Cen sus Report, Marrcar, 1891, ii. 28 ; 
Rajputana Gazetteer, 1880, iii. 212).] 


1332 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Rao, made a conquest of Amber from the Susawat Minas, the 
residence of their chief, named Bhato, who had the title of Rao, 
and was head of the Mina confederation. He also subdued the 
Nandla Minas, and added the district of Gatur-Ghati to his 
territory. 

Hundeo, Kuntal. — Hundeo succeeded, and, like his predecessors, 
continued the warfare against the Minas. He was succeeded 
by Kuntal, whose sway extended over all the hill-tribes romid 
his capital. Having determined to proceed to Bhatwar, where 
a Chauhan prince resided, in order to marry his daughter, his 
Mina subjects, remembering the [349] former fatality, collected 
from all quarters, demanding that, if he went beyond the borders, 
he should leave the standards and nakkaras of sovereignty in 
their custody. Kuntal refusing to submit, a battle ensued, in 
which the Minas were defeated with great slaughter, which 
secured his rule throughout Dhundhar. 

Fajun. — Kuntal was succeeded by Pajun, a name well known 
to the chivalrous Rajput, and immortaUzed by Chand, in the 
poetic history (Raesa) of the emperor Prithiraj. Before, how- 
ever, we proceed further, it may be convenient to give a sketch 
of the power and numbers of the indigenous tribes at this period. 

The Mina Tribe. — We have already had frequent occasion to ob- 
serve the tendency of the aboriginal tribes to emerge from bondage 
and depression, which has been seen in Mewar, Kotah, and Bundi, 
and is now exemplified in the rise of the Kachhwahas in Dhundhar. 
The original, pure, unmixed race of Minas, or Mainas, of Dhundhar, 
were styled Pachwara, and subdivided into five grand tribes. 
Their original home was in the range of mountains called Kalikoh, 
extending from Ajmer nearly to the Jumna, -where they erected 
Amber, consecrated to Amba, the universal mother,'^ or, as the 
Minas style her, Ghata Rani, ‘ Queen of the pass.’ In this range 
were Klioganw, Machh, and many other large towns, the chief 
cities of communities. But even so late as Raja Bahamiall 
Kachhwaha, the contemporary of Babur and Humayim, the 
Minas had retained or regained great power, to the mortification 
of their Rajput superiors. One of these independent communities 

^ [Amber is said to derive its name from Siva Ambikeswara, or from 
Ambarisba, son of Mandhata and king of Ayodhya. Its original name is ' 
said to be Ambarikanera, that is ‘ town (nem, Skt. nagara) of Ambarisha ’ 
(101, V. 290).] 



THE MlNA TRIBE 


1333 


was at the ancient city of Nain, destroyed by Baharmall, no 
doubt with the aid of his Mogul connexions. An old historical 
distich thus records the power of the Mina princes of Nain : 

Bdwan kot, chhappan darvdja, 

Mina mard, Nain kd raja, 

Vado raj Nain ko bhago, 

Jab bhus-hi men vdmto mdgo. 

That is, ‘ There were fifty-two strongholds, ‘ and fifty-six gates 
belonging to the manly Mina, the Raja of Nain, whose sovereignty 
of Nain was extinct, when even of chaff (bhus) he took a share.’ 
If this is not an exaggeration, it would appear that, during the 
distractions of the first Islamite dynasties of Delhi, the Minas 
had attained their primitive importance. Certainly from Pajun, 
the vassal chieftain of Prithiraj [350], to Baharmall, the con- 
temporary of Babur, the Kachhwahas had but little increased 
their territory. When this latter prince destroyed the Mina 
sovereignty of Nain, he levelled its half hundred gates, and 
erected the town of Lohwan (now the residence of the Rajawat 
chief) on its ruins. 

A distinction is made in the orthography and pronunciation 
of the designation of this race : Maina, meaning the asl, or ‘ un- 
mixed class,’ of which there is now but one, the Usara ; while 
Mina is that applied to the mixed, of which they reckon barah 
pal,^ or twelve communities, descended from Rajput blood, as 
Chauhan, Tuar, Jadon, Parihar, Kachhwaha, Solanki, Sankhla, 
Guhilot, etc., and these are subdivided into no less than five 
thousand two himdred distinct clans, of which it is the duty of 

^ Kot is ‘ a fortress ’ ; but it may be applied simply to the number of 
bastions of Nain, which in the number of its gates might rival Thebes. 
Lohwan, built on its ruins, contains three thousand houses, and has eighty- 
four townships dependent on it. [In the third line of the verse Major 
Luard’s Pandit reads for vado, dvbo, ‘ annihilated ’ ; in the fourth for 
vando, he gives muttha, ‘ a handful.’] 

* Pal is the term for a community of any of the aboriginal mountain 
races ; its import is a ‘ defile,’ or ‘ valley,’ fitted for cultivation and defence. 
It is probable that Poligar may be a corruption of Paligar, or the region (gar) 
of these Pals. Palita, Bhilita, Philita are terms used by the learned for 
the Bhil tribes. Maina, Maira, Mairot all designate mountaineers, from 
Mair, or Mer, a hill . [The ‘ Palita ’ of the note is possibly from a vague 
recollection of the Phyllitai or ‘ leaf-clad ’ applied to some aboriginal tribes 
by Ptolemy (vii. 1. 66) (McCrindle, Ptolemy, 159 f.).] 



1334 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


the Jaga, Dholi, or Dom, their genealogists, to keep account. 
The unmixed Usara stock is now exceedingly rare, while the 
mixed races, spread over all the hilly and intricate regions of 
central and western India, boast of their descent at the expense 
of ‘ legitimacy.’ These facts all tend strongly to prove that 
the Rajputs were conquerors, and that the mountaineers, whether 
Kolis, Bhils, Minas, Gonds, Savaras or Sarjas, are the indigenous 
inhabitants of India. This subject will be fidly treated here- 
after, in a separate chapter devoted to the Mina tribes, their 
rehgion, manners, and customs. 

Death of Pajun. — Let us return to Pajun, the sixth in descent 
from the exile of Narwar, who was deemed of sufficient conse- 
quence to obtain in marriage the sister of Prithiraj, the Chauhan 
emperor of Delhi, an honour perhaps attributable to the splendour 
of Pajun’s descent, added to his great personal merit. The 
chivalrous Chauhan, who had assembled around him one hundred 
and eight chiefs of the highest rank in India, assigned a con- 
spicuous place to Pajun, who commanded a dmsion of that 
monarch's armies in many of his most important battles. Pajun 
twice signalized himself in invasions from the north, in one of 
which, when he commanded on the frontier, he defeated Shihabu- 
d-din in the Khaibar Pass, and pursued him towards Ghazni.^ 
His valour mainly contributed to the conquest of Mahoba, the 
country of the Chandels, of which he was left governor ; and he 
was one of the sixty-four cltiefs who, with a chosen body of their 
retainers, enabled Prithiraj to carry off the princess of Kanauj. 
In this service, covering [351] the retreat of his liege lord, Pajun 
lost his life, on the first of the five days’ continuous battle. Pajun 
was conjoined with Govind Guhilot, a chief of the Mewar house ; 
— both fell together. Chand, the bard, thus describes the last 
hours of the Kachhwaha prince : “ When Govind fell, the foe 
danced with joy : then did Pajun thimder on the curtain of 
fight : with both hands he pUed the khadga (sword) on the heads 
of the barbarian. Four hundred rushed upon him ; but the 
five brothers in arms, Kehari, Pipa, and Boho, with Narsingh 

and Kachra, supported him. Spears and daggers are plied 

heads roll on the plain — blood flows in streams. Pajun assailed 

* [This is probably a fiction of the bards, based on the defeat of Shihabu- 
d-din by Bhimdeo of Nahrwala in a.d. 1178 (EUiot-Dowson ii. 294 • Peri'^hta 
i. 170).] 


» 
















r 



MALASI 


1335 


Itimad ; but as his head rolled at his feet, he received the Khan’s 
lance in his breast ; the Kurma ’ fell in the field, and the Apsaras 
disputed for the hero. Whole lines of the northmen strew the 
plain : many a head did Mahadeo add to his chaplet.* When 
Pajun and Govind fell, one watch of the day remained. To 
rescue his kin came Palhan, like a tiger loosed from his chain. 
The array of Kanauj fell back ; the cloudlike host of Jaichand 
turned its head. The brother of Pajun, with his son, performed 
deeds like Kama : * but both fell in- the field, and gained the 
secret of the sun, whose chariot advanced to conduct them to 
his mansion. 

“ Ganga shmnk with affright, the moon quivered, the Dikpals * 
howled at their posts : checked was the advance of Kanauj, and 
in the pause the Kurma performed the last rites to his sire (Pajun), 
who broke in pieces the shields of Jaichand. Pajun was a buckler 
to his lord, and numerous his gifts of the steel to the heroes of 
Kanauj : not even by the bard can his deeds be described. He 
placed his feet on the head of Sheshnag,* he made a waste of the 
forest of men, nor dared the sons of the mighty approach him. 
As Pajun fell, he exclaimed, ‘ One hundred years are the limit of 
man’s life, of which fifty are lost in night, and half this in child- 
hood ; but the Almighty taught me to wield the brand.’ As 
he spoke, even in the arms of Yama, he beheld the arm of his boy 
playing on the head of the foeman. His parting soul was satisfied : 
seven wounds from the sword had Malasi received, whose steed 
was covered with wounds ; mighty were the deeds performed 
by the son of Pajun.” 

Malasi. — This Malasi, in whose praise the bard of Prithiraj 
is so lavish, succeeded (according to the chronicle) his father 
Pajun in the Raj of Amber. There is little said of him in the 
transcript in my possession. There are, however, abundance of 
traditional couplets to prove that the successors of Pajun were 
not wanting in the chief duties of the Rajput [352], the exercise 

. * Kurma, or Kachhia, are synonymous terms, and indiscriminately 

applied to the Kajputs of Ajmer ; meaning ‘ tortoise.’ 

* The chaplet of the god of war is of skulls ; his drinking-cup a semi- 
cranium. 

* [The hero of the Mahabharata.] 

* [Ganga, the Ganges ; Dikpals, regents of the four quarters of the 
heavens.] 

‘ [The serpent which supports the world.] 



1336 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


of his sword. One of these mentions his having gained a victory 
at Rutrahi over the prince of Mandu.* 

We shall pass over the intermediate princes from Malasi to 
Prithiraj, the eleventh in descent, with a bare enumeration of 
their names : namely, Malasi, Bijal, Rajdeo, Kilan, Kuntal, 
Jvmsi, ITdaikaran, Narsingh, Banbir, Udharan, Chandrasen, 
Prithiraj. 

Prithiraj. — Prithiraj had seventeen sons, twelve of whom 
reached man’s estate. To them and their snccessors in perpetuity 
he assigned appanages, styled the Barah Kothri. or ‘ twelve 
chambers ’ of the Kachhwaha lionse. The portion of each was 
necessarily very limited ; some of the descendants of this here- 
ditary aristocracy now hold estates equal in magnitude to the 
principality itself at that period. Previous, however, to this 
perpetual settlement of Kachhwaha fiefs, and indeed inter- 
mediately between INIalasi and Prithiraj, a disjunction of the 
junior branches of the royal family took place, which led to the 
foundation of a power for a long time exceeding in magnitude 
the parent State. This was in the time of Udaikaran, whose 
son Baloji left his father's house, and obtained the town and 
small district of Amritsar, which in time devolved on his grand- 
son .Shaikhji, and became the nucleus of an extensive and singidar 
confederation, known by the name of the founder. Shaikhavati, 

^ I give this chiefly for the concluding couplet, to see how the Rajputs 
applied the word Khotnn to the lands beyond Kabul, where the great Raja 
Man commanded as Akbar’s lieutenant : 

’ “ Pdlan, Pajiin jite, 

Mahoba, Kanauj lare, 

Mdndu Malasi jite. 

Ear Eutrdhi led ; 

Eaj Bhagivdndds jite, 

Mamsi Jar. 

Edja Man Singh jite, 

Khotax phauj dabdi." 

“ Palan and Pajun were victorious ; 

Fought at Mahoba and Kanauj ; 

Malasi conquered Mandu ; 

In the battle of Rutrahi, 

Raja Bhagwandas vanquished. ^ 

In the Mawasi (fastnesses, probably, of Mewat), 

Raja Man Singh was victorious ; 

Subjugating the army of Khotan.” 




BHAGWANDAS 


1337 


i 


at this day covering an area of nearly ten thousand square miles. 
As this subject will be discussed in its projier place, we shall no 
longer dwell on it, but proceed witl^thc posterity of Prithiraj, 
amongst the few incidents of whose life is mentioned his meritori- 
ous pilgrimage to Dcwal,* near the mouth of the Indus. But 
■ [353] even this could not save him from foul assassination, and 

the assassin was his own son, Bhim, “ whose countenance (says 
the chronicle) was that of a demon.’’ The record is obscure, 
but it would appear that one parricide was punished by another, 
and that Askaran, the son of Bhim, was instigated by his brethren 
to put their father to death, and “ to expiate the crime by pil- 
grimage.” “ In one list, both these intinstcrs are enumerated 
amongst the ‘ anointed ’ of Amber, but they are generally 
omitted in the genealogical chain, doubtless from a feeling of 
disgust. 

Bahar or Bihari MaU, c. a.d. 1548-75. — Baharmall was the 
i first prince of Amber who paid homage to the Muhammadan 
power. He attended the fortunes of Babur, and received from 
Ilumayun (previous to the Pathan usurpation), the mansab of 
five thousand as Raja of Amber.® 

Bhagiwandas, c. a.d. 1575-92. — Bhagwandas, son of Baharmall, 
became still more intimately allied with the INIogul dynasty. 
He was the friend of .\kbar, who saw the full value of attaehing 
^ such men to his throne. By what arts or influence he overcame 
* the scruples of the Kaclihwaha Rajput we know not, unless by 
I appealing to his avarice or ambition ; but the name of Bhag- 
% ' wandas is execrated as the first who sullied Rajput purity by 
' matrimonial alliance with the Islamite.* His daughter espoused 

a * ‘ The temple ’ ; the Debal of the Muhammadan tribes : the Rajput 
1 scat of power of the Rajas of Sind, when attacked by the caliphs of Bagdad 
[Yule, Hobson- Jobson, 2nd ed. 320.] 

2 The chronicle says of this Askaran, that on his return, the king (Babur 
or Humayun) gave him the title of Raja of liarwar. These States have 
continued occasionally to furnish representatives, on the extinction of the 
line of either. A very conspicuous instance of this occurred on the death 
of Raja Jagat Singh, the last prince of Amber, who dying without issue, an 
intrigue was set on foot, and a son of the ex-prince of Narwar was placed 
on the gaddi of Amber. 

® [This is the first mention of the grading of Mansabdars (Smith, Akbar, 
the Great Moghul, 362). For Raja Biharimall and his son Bhagwandas, see 
. Ain, i. 328, 333 ; Akbarnama, trans. Beveridge ii. 244.] 

i * [Akbar had married the daughter of Baharmall.] 

VOl,. Ill 


o 


1338 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Prince Salim, afterwards Jahangir, ana the fruit of tlie marriage 
was the unfortunate KhusruJ 

Man Singh, c. a.d. 1592-1614. — Man Singh, nephew* and 
successor of Bhagwandas, was the most brilliant character r' 
Akbar’s court. As the emperor’s lieutenant, he was entrusteo 
with the most arduous duties, and added conquests to the empire 
from Khotan to the ocean. Orissa was subjugated by him,* 
Assam humbled and made tributarj’, and Kabul maintained in 
her allegiance. He held in succession the governments of Bengal 
and Behar,* the [354] Deccan and Kabul. Raja Man soon proved 
to Akbar that his policy of strengthening his throne by Rajput 
alliances was not without hazard ; these alliances introducing 
a direct influence in the .State, which frequently thwarted the 
views of the sovereign. So powerful was it. that even Akbar, 
in the zenith of his power, saw no other method of diminishing 
its force, than the execrable b«it common expedient of Asiatic 
despots — poison : it has been already related how the emperor’s 
attempt recoiled upon him to his destruction.* 

* It is pleasing to find almost all these outlines of Rajput history con- 
firmed by Muhammadan writers. It was in a.h. 093 (.a.d. 1586) that this 
marriage took place. Three generations of Kaohhwahas, namely, Bhag- 
wandas, his adopted son Raja Man, and grandson, were all serving in the 
imperial army with great distinction at this time. Raja Man, though styled 
Kunwar, or heir-apparent, is made the most conspicuous. He quelled a 
rebellion headed by the emperor’s brother, and while Bhagwandas com- 
manded under a prince of the blood against Kashmir, Man Singh overcame 
an insurrection of the Afghans at Khaibar ; and his son was made viceroy 
of Kabul. — See Briggs’ Ferishta, vol. ii. p. 258 ei seq. 

* Bhagwandas had three brothers, Surat Singh, Madho Singh, and Jagat 
Singh ; Man Singh was son of the last. 

* Ferishta confirms this, saying he sent one hundred and twenty elephants 
to the king on this occasion. — Briggs’ Ferishta, vol. ii. p. 268. 

* Ferishta confirms this likewise. According to this historian, it was 
while Man was yet only Kunwar, or heir-apparent, that he was hivested with 
the governments of “ Behar. Hajipoor, and Patna,” the same year (a.d. 
1589) that his uncle Bhagwandas died, and that followdng the birth of Prince 
Khusru by the daughter of the Kachhwaha prince, an event celebrated (says 
Ferishta) with great rejoicings. See Briggs’ Ferishta, vol. ii. p. 261. Col. 
Briggs has allowed the similarity of the names Khusru and Khurram to 
betray him into a slight error, in a note on the former prince. It was not 
Khusru, but Khurram, who succeeded his father Jahangir, and was father 
to the monster Aurangzeb (note, p. 261). Khusru was put to death by 
Khurram, afterwards Shah Jahan. 

* Annals of Rajasthan, Vnl. I. p. 408. 


-fr’Stv 


RAJAS BHAO SINGH AND MAHA SINGH 1339 


■g' Akbar was on his death-bed when Raja Man commenced an 
f! intrigue to alter the succession in favour of his nephew, Prince 
Khusru, and it was probably in this predicament that the monarch 
had recourse to the only safe policy, that of seeing the crown fixed 
on the head of Salim, afterwards Jahangir. The conspiracy for 
the time was quashed, and Raja Man was sent to the government 
of Bengal ; but it broke out again, and ended in the perpetual 
imprisonment of Khusru,^ and a dreadful death to his adherents. 
Raja Man was too wise to identify himself with the rebellion, 
though he stimulated his nephew, and he was too powerful to be 
openly punished, being at the head of twenty thousand Rajputs ; 
but the native chronicle mentions that he was amerced by Ja- 
hangir in the incredible sum of ten crores, or millions sterling. 
.\ccording to the Muhammadan historian. Raja Man died in 
Bengal,^ a.h. 1024 (a.d. 1615) ; while the clironicle says he was 
slain in an expedition against the Khilji tribe in the north two 
years later.’ 

Bhao Singh, c. a.d. 1615-21. — ^Rao Bhao Singh succeeded his 
father, and was invested by the emperor with the Panjhazari, or 
dignity of a legionary chief of five thousand. He was of weak 
: intellect, and ruled a few years without distinction. He died in 
? A.H. 1030 of excessive drinking. 

Maha Singh, c. a.d. 1621-25. — ^Maha succeeded, and in like 
manner died from dissipated habits. These unworthy successors 
’ of Raja Man allowed the princes of Jodhpur to take the lead at 
the imperial coiut. At the instigation of the celebrated Jodha Bai 
(daughter of Rae Singh of Bikaner), the Rajputni wife of Jahangir, 
Jai Singh, grandson of Jagat Singh (brother of Man), was raised to 
^ the throne of Amber, to the no small jealousy, says [355] the 
^ chronicle, of the favourite queen, Nur Jahan. It relates that the 

* He was afterwards assassinated by order of Shah Jahan [“under the 
-inwalls of Azere ” (Asirgarh)]. See Dow’s Ferishia. ed. 1812, vol. iii. p. 56. 
'.-3{Elphinstone (p. 563) calls his death suspicions, hut refuses to believe that 
3hah Jahan procured his death. He died from colic in the Deccan on 
January 16, 1622.] 

’ Dow. ed. 1812, vol. iii. p. 42 ; the chronicle says in S. 1699, or a.d. 1613. 
tHe died a natural death in July 1614, while he was on service in the Deccan, 
and sixty of his fifteen hundred women are said to have burned themselves 
on his pyre (Ain, i. 341 ; MemoiTS of Jahangir, trans. Rogers-Beveridge 

i 2C6).] 

® An account of the life of Raja Man would fill a volume ; there are 
ample materials at Jaipur. 


1340 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


succession was settled by the emperor and the Rajputni in a con- 
ference at the balcony of the seraglio, where the emperor saluted 
the youth below as Baja of Amber, and commanded him to make 
his salaam to Jodha Jlai, as the source of this honour. But the 
customs of Rajwara could not be broken : it was contrary to 
etiquette for a Rajput chief to salaam, and he replied : “ I will do 
this to any lady of your majesty’s family, but not to Jodha 
Bai " ; upon which she good-naturedly laughed, and called out, 
“It matters not ; I give you the raj of Amber.” 

Jai Singh, Mirza Raja, c. a.d. 1625-67. — Jai Singh, the Mirza 
Raja, the title by which he is best known, restored b}' his conduct 
the renown of the Kachhwaha name, which had been tarnished by 
the two unworthy successors of Raja Man. He performed great 
services to the empire during the reign of Aurangzeb, who be- 
stowed upon him the mansab of six thousand. He made prisoner 
the celebrated Sivaji, whom he conveyed to court, and afterwai-ds, 
on finding that his pledge of safety was likely to be broken, was 
accessary to his liberation. But this instance of magnanimity was 
more than counterbalanced by his treachery to Dara, in the war 
of succession, which crushed the hopes of that brave prince. 
These acts, and their consequences, produced an unconquerable 
haughtiness of demeanour, which determined the tyrannical 
Aurangzeb to destroy him. The chronicle says he had twenty- 
two thousand Rajput cavalry at his disposal, and twenty-tw-o 
great vassal chiefs, who cormnanded under him ; that he would 
sit with them in darbar, holding tw'O glasses, one of which he 
called Delhi, the other Satara, and dashing one to the ground, 
would exclaim, “ There goes Satara ; the fate of Delhi in my 
right hand, and this rvith like facihty I can cast away.” These 
vaunts reaching the emperor’s ear, he had recourse to the same 
diabolical expedient which ruined Marwar, of making a son the 
assassin of his father. He promised the succession to the gaddi of 
Amber to Kirat Singh, younger son of the Raja, to the prejudice 
of his elder brother Ram Singh, if he effected the horrid deed.' 
The wretch having perpetrated the crime by mixing poison in his 
father’s opium, returned to claim the investiture : but the king 
only gave him the district of Kama. From this period, says the -- 
chronicle. Amber declined. 


' [Jai Sintrh died, awed 
ii. 152).] 


about sixty, at Burhanpar, July 12, 1CG7 (Manucci 



RAJA SAWAI JAI SINGH 


1341 


i 


Ram Singh, Bishan Singh. — Ram Singh, who succeeded, had 
the mansab of four thousand conferred upon him, and was sent 
against the Assamese.^ Upon his death, Bishan Singh, whose 
mansab was further reduced to the grade of three thousand, suc- 
ceeded ; but he enjoyed the dignity only a short period [356]. 


CHAPTER 2 

Sawai 3ai Singh, c. a.d. 1693-1748. — Jai II., better known by 
the title of Sawai .lai Singh, in contradistinction to the first 
prince of this name, entitled the ‘ Mirza Raja,’ succeeded in 
S. 1755 (A.D. 1699),* in the forty-fourth year of Aurangzeb’s 
reign, and within six years of that monarch’s death. He served 
with distinction in the Deccan, and in the war of succession 
attached himself to the prince Bedar Bakht, son of Azam Shah, 
declared successor of Aurangzeb ; and with these he fought the 
battle of Dholpur, which ended in their death and the elevation 
■ of Shah Alam Bahadur Shah. For this opposition .\mber was 
. sequestrated, and an imperial governor sent to take possession ; 
but Jai Singh entered his estates, sword in hand, drove out the 
. king's garrisons, and formed a league with Ajit Singh of Marwar 
for their mutual preservation. 

It would be tedious to pursue this celebrated Rajput through 
his desultory military career during the forty-four years he 
oceupied the gaddi of Amber ; enough is already known of it 
from its combination with the Annals of Mewar and Bundi, of 
iirhich house he was the implacable foe. Although Jai Singh 
mixed in all the troubles and warfare of this long period of anarchy, 
when the throne of Timur was rapidly crumbling into dust, his 
reputation as a soldier would never have handed down his name 

' * [According to Manucoi (ii. 153), Ram Singh, as a piece of revenge for 

the flight of Sivaji, was sent to Assam in the hope that, like Mir Jumla, he 
would die there ; hut on an appeal being made to Aurangzeb, the order was 
cancelled, and he was banished beyond the river Indus. The real fact is 
that Ram Singh was appointed to the Command in Assam in December 
1667, and arrived there in February 1669, After desultory and unsuccessful 
fighting he was allowed to leave Bengal, and reached the Imijerial Court in 
ifune 1676 (Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, iii. 212 fi.).] 

Z ^ [The dates oi the Rajas of Jaipur are uncertain. Those in the mar gin 
!^e given on the authority of Beale, Oriental Biographical Diet. 193).] 



1342 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


with honour to posterity; on the contrarjs Jiis courage had 
none of the lire which is requisite to make a Rajput hero ; though 
his talents for civil government and court intrigue, in which he was 
the Machiavelii of his day, were at that period far more notable 
auxiliaries. 

The Building ot Jaipur : Work in Astronomy. — As a statesman, 
legislator, and man of science, the character of Sawai Jai Singh is 
worthy of an ample delineation,^ which would correct our opinion 
of the genius and [357] capacity of the princes of Rajputana, of 
whom w'e are apt to form too low an estimate, lie was the A 
founder of the new capital, named after him Jaipur or Jainagar, 1 
whieh became the seat of science and art, and eclipsed the more I 
aneient Amber, with which the fortifications of the modern city I 
unite, although the extremity of the one is six miles from the 
other. Jaipur is the only city in India built upon a regular 
plan, with streets bisecting each other at right angles.- The 
merit of the design and execution is assigned to Vidyadhar, a 
native of Bengal, one of the most eminent coadjutors of the 
prince in all his scientific pursuits, both astronomical and historical. 
Almost all the Rajput princes have a smattering of astronomy, 
or rather of its spurious relation, astrology ; but Jai Singh went 
deep, not only into the theory, but the practice of the science, and 
was so esteemed for his knowledge, that he was entrusted bj’ the 
emperor Muhammad Shah with the reformation of the calendar. 

He had erected observatories with instruments of his owm in- 
vention at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Benares, and Mathura, upon a 
scale of Asiatie grandeur ; and their results were so correct as 
to astonish the most learned.’ He had previously used such 

’ For suck a sketch, the materials of the Amber court are abundant ; to 
f instance only the Kalpadrama, a miscellaneous diary, in which everything 
of note was written, and a collection entitled sad nau gun Jai Singh l:e, 
or ‘ the one hundred and nine actions of Jai tSingh ’ of which I have heard 
several narrated and noted. His voluminous correspondence with all the 
princes and chiefs of his time would alone repay the trouble of translation, 
and would throw a more perfect light on the manners and feelings of his 
countrymen than the most laborious lucubrations of any European. I 
possess an autograph letter of this prince, on one of the most important 
events of Indian history at this period, the deposal of Farrukhsiyar. It was 
addressed to the Rana. 

’ [For a graphic account of Jaipur city see Budyard Kipling, From Sea 
to Sea, chap, ii.] , 

» [For these observatories see A. ff. Garrett and Pandit Chandradhar 


THE BUILDING OF JAIPUK 


1343 


/ 


instruments as those of Ulugh Beg (the royal astronomer of Samar- 
kand), which failed to answer his expectations.^ From the 
observations of seven years at the various observatories, he con- 
structed a set of tables. While thus engaged, he learned through 
a Portuguese missionary. Padre Manuel, the progress which his 
favourite pursuit was making in Portugal, and he sent “ several 
skilful persons along with him ” “ to the court of Emanuel. The 
king of Portugal dispatched Xavier de Silva, who communicated 
to the Rajput prince the tables of De la Hire.’ “ On examining 
and comparing the calculations of these tables (says the Rajput 
prince) with actual observation, it appeared there was an error in 
the former, in assigning the moon’s place, of half a degree ; 
although the error in the other planets was not so great, yet the 
times of solar and lunar eelipses he * found to come out later or 
earlier than the truth by the fourth part of a ghari, or fifteen pals 
(six minutes of time).” In like manner, as he found fault with 
the instruments of brass used by the Turki astronomer, and which 
he conjectures must have been such as were used by Hipparchus 
and Ptolemy, so he attributes the inaccuracies of De la Hire’s 
tables [358] to instruments of “ inferior diameters.” The Rajput 
prince might justly boast of his instruments. With that at Delhi, 
he, in a.d. 1729, determined the obliquity of the ecliptic to be 
23° 28' ; within 28" of what it was determined to be, the year 
following, by Godin. His general accuracy was further put to 
the test in a.d. 1793 by our scientific countryman. Dr. W. Hunter, 
who compared a series of observations on the latitude of Ujjain 
with that established by the Rajput prince. The difference was 


iOuleri, The, Jaipur Observaiory and Us Builder, Allahabad, 1902 ; Fanahawe, 
Delhi Past and Present, 247 f. ; Sherring, The Sacred City of the Hindus, 
131 £E. The observatory at Mathura was in the Fort, but it has disappeared ; 
at Ujjain only scanty remains exist (Growse, Mathura, 3rd ed. 140 ; IGI, 
xviii. 73, xxiv. 113).] 

1 [Ulugh Beg, son of Shah Rukh and grandson of Amir Timur, succeeded 
his father a.d. 1447, and was put to death by his son, IVErza Abdul Latif, in 
1449. His astronomical tables were published in Latin by John Gregory, 
Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, and were edited by Thomas Hyde in 
1665 (Sykes, Hist, of Persia, ii. 218 ; EB, 11th ed. zxvii. 573 f.).] 

-s ’ It would be worth ascertaining whether the archives of Lisbon refer to 
this circumstance. 

® Second edition, published in a.d. 1702. Jai Singh finished his in 
>.D. 1728. 

J * Jai Singh always speaks of himself in the third person. 



1344 


ANNALS OF AMBEU OR JAIPUR 

24 " • and Dr. Hunter docs not depend on his own observations 
within 15 . Jai Singh made the latitude 23° 10' N. ; Dr. Hunter, 
23° 10' 24 N. 

From the results of his varied observations, Jai Singh drew up 
a set of tables, which he entitled Zij Muhammadshahi, dedicated 
to that monarch ; by these, all astronomical computations are 
yet made, and almanacks constructed. It would be wrong — 
while considering these labours of a prince who caused Euclid’s 
Elements, the treatises on plain and spherical trigonometry, 

‘ Don Juan,’ Napier on the construction and use of logarithms, 
to be translated into Sanskrit — to omit noticing the high strain 
of devotion with which he views the wonders of the “ Supreme 
Artificer ” ; recalling the line of one of our own best poets : ^ 

All undevout astronomer is mad. 

The Rajput prince thus opens his preface : “ Praise be to God, 
such that the minutely discerning genius of the most profound 
geometers, in uttering the smallest particle of it, may open the 
mouth in confession of inability ; and such adoration, that the 
study and accuracy of astronomers, who measure the heavens, 
may acknowledge their astonishment, and utter insufficiency ! 
Let us devote ourselves at the altar of the King of Kings, hallowed 
be his name ! in the book of the register of whose power the lofty 
orbs of heaven are only a few leaves ; and the stars, and that 
heavenly courser the sun, small pieces of money, in the treasury 
of the empire of the !Most High. 

“ From inability to comprehend the all-encompassing benefi- 
cence of his power, Hipparchus is an ignorant clown, who wTings 
the hands of vexation ; and in the contemplation of his exalted 
majestj% Ptolemy is a bat, who can never arrive at the sun of 
truth : the demonstrations of Euclid are an imperfect sketch of 
the forms of his contrivance. 

“ But since the well-wisher of the works of creation, and the 
admiring spectator of the works of infinite wisdom, Sawai Jai 
Singh, from the first dawning of reason in his mind, and during 
its progress towards maturity, was entirely devoted to the study 
[359] of mathematical science, and the bent of his mind was con- 
stantly directed to the solution of its most difficult problems ; by 


’ [Young, Night Thoughts, ix. 771.] 


ASSASSINATION OF FARRUKHSIYAR 


1345 


the aid of the Supreme Artificer, he obtained a thorough knowledge 
of its principles and rules,” eted 

Besides the construction of these objects of science, he erected, 
at his own expense, caravanserais for the free use of travellers in 
many of the provinces. How far vanity may have mingled with 
benevolence in this act (by no means uncommon in India), it 
were uncharitable to inquire ; for the Hindu not only prays for 
all those “ who travel by land or by water,” but aids the traveller 
by serais or inns, and wells dug at his own expense, and in most 
capitals and cities, under the ancient princes, there were public 
charities for necessitous travellers, at which they had their meals, 
and then passed on. 

Assassination of Farrukhsiyar, May 16, 1719. — When we con- 
sider that Jai Singh carried on his favourite pursuits in the midst 
of perpetual wars and court intrigues, from whose debasing 
influence he escaped not untainted ; when amidst revolution, 
the destruction of the empire, and the meteoric rise of the Mah- 
rattas, he not only steered through the dangers, but elevated 
Amber above all the principalities 'around, we must admit that 
he was an extraordinary man. Aware of the approaching down- 
fall of the Mogul empire, and determined to aggrandize Amber 
from the ■s^Treek, he was, nevertheless, not unfaithful to his lord- 
paramount ; for, on the conspiracy which deprived Farrukhsiyar 
of empire and of life, Jai Singh was one of the few princes who 
retained their fidelity, and would have stood by him to the last, 

^ See “ Account of the Astronomical Labours of .Tya Sing, Raja of 
Amber,” by Dr. W. Hunter {Asiatic Bescarches, vol. v. p. 177), to whom I 
refer the rc.ider for the description of the instruments used by the Raja. 
The xVuthor has seen those at Delhi and Mathura. There .is also an equi- 
noctial dial constructed on the terrace of the palace of Ddaipur, and various 
instruments at Kotah and Bundi, especially an armiUary sphere, at the 
former, of about five feet diameter, all in brass, got up under the scholars 
of Jai Singh. Dr. Hunter gives a most interesting accoimt of a young 
pandit, whom he found at Ujjain, the grandson of one of the coadjutors of 
Jai Singh, who held the office of Jyotishrae, or Astronomer-Royal, and an 
estate of five thousand rupees annual rent, both of which (title and estate) 
descended to this young man ; but science fled with Jai Singh, and the 
barbarian Mahrattas had rendered his estate desolate and unproductive. 
He possessed, says Dr. H., a thorough acquahitance with the Hmdu astro- 
nomical science contained in the various Siddhantas, and that not confined 
to the mechanical practice of rules, but foimded on a geometrical knowledge 
of their demonstration. This inheritor of the mantle of Jai Singh died at 
Jaipur, soon after Dr. Hunter left Ujjain, in a.d. 1793. 



1346 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


if he had possessed a particle of the valour which belonged to the 
descendants of Timur.’ 

Enough has been said of his public life, in that portion of the 
Annals of Mewar with which he was so closely connected, both by 
pohtical and family ties. The Sayyids, who succeeded to power 
on the murder of their sovereign Farrukhsiyar, were too wise to 
raise enemies unnecessarily ; and Jai Singh, when he left the 
unhappy monarch to his fate, retired to his hereditary dominions, 
devoting himself to his favourite pursuits, astronomy and history. 
He appears to have enjoyed three years of uninterrupted quiet, 
taking no part in the struggles, which terminated, in a.d. 1721, 
with Muhammad Shah’s defeat of his rivals, and the destruction 
of the Sayyids [360], At this period Jai Singh was called from 
his philosophical pursuits, and appointed the king’s lieutenant for 
the provinces of Agra and Malwa in succession : and it was during 
this interv’al of comparative repose, that he erected those monu- 
ments which irradiate this dark epoch of the history of India.* 
Nor was he blind to the interests of his nation or the honour of 
Amber, and his important office was made subservient to obtain- 
ing the repeal of that disgraceful edict, the jizya, and authority 
to repress the infant power of the Jats, long a thorn in the side 
of Amber. But when, in a.d. 1732, the Raja, once more lieutenant 
for Malwa, saw that it was in vain to attempt to check the Mah- 
ratta invasion, or to prevent the partition of the empire, he 
deemed himself justified in consulting the welfare of his own house. 
We know not what terms Jai Singh entered into with the Mahratta 
leader, Bajirao, who by his influence was appointed Subahdar 
of Malwa ; we may, however, imagine it was from some more 
powerful stimulant than the native historian of this period 
assigns, namely, “ a similarity of religion.” By this conduct, 
Jai Singh is said emphatically, by his own countrymen, to have 
given the key of Hindustan to the Southron. The influence his 
character obtained, however, with the Mahrattas was even useful 

excellent history of the successors of Aurangzeb [ed. 
17 J4, u. 156 S.], gives a full account of this tragical event, on which I have 
already touched in Vol. I. p. 474 of this work ; where I have given a literal 
translation of the autograph letter of Raja Jai Singh on the occasion. 

The Raja says he finished his tables in a.d. 1728, and that he had occu- 
pied himself seven years previously in the necessary observations ; in fact 
the first quiet years of Muhammad Shah’s reign, or indeed that India had 
known fox centuries. 





THE REBELLION OF BIJAI SINGH 


1347 


to his sovereign, for by it he retarded their excesses, which at 
length reached the capital. In a few years more (a.d. 1739), 
Nadir Shah’s invasion took place, and the Rajputs, wisely alive 
to their own interests, remained aloof from a cause which neither 
valour nor wisdom could longer serve. They respected the 
emperor, but the system of government had long alienated these 
gallant supporters of the throne. We may exemplify the trials 
to which Rajput fidelity was exposed, by one of “ the hundred* 
and nine deeds of .Jai Singh ” which will at the same time serve 
further to illustrate the position, that half the political and moral 
evils which have vexed the royal houses of Rajputana, take their 
rise from polygamy. 

Rebellion of Bijai Singh. — ^Maharaja Bishan Singh had two 
sons, Jai Singh and Bijai Singh. The mother of Bijai Singh, 
doubtful of his safety, sent him to her own family in Khichiwara.^ 
When [361] he had attained man’s estate, he was sent to court, 
and by bribes, chiefly of jewels presented by his mother, he 
obtained the patronage of Kamaru-d-din Klian, the wazir.® At 
first his ambition was limited to the demand of Baswa,^ one of 
the most fertfle districts of Amber, as an appanage ; which being 
acceded to by his brother and sovereign, Jai Singh, he was 
stimulated by his mother to make still higher demands, and to 
offer the sum of five crores of rupees and a contingent of five 
thousand horse, if he might supplant his brother on the throne of 
Amber. The wazir mentioned it to the emperor, who asked what 
security he had for the fulfilment of the contract ; the wazir 
offered his own guarantee, and the sanads of Amber were actually 
preparing, which were thus to unseat Jai Singh, when his pagri 
badal bhai, Khandauran Khan,* informed Ivirparam, the Jaipur 
envoy at court, of what was going on. The intelhgence pro- 
duced consternation at Amber, since Kamaru-d-din was all- 
powerful. Jai Singh’s dejection became manifest on reading the 
letter, and he handed it to the confidential Nazir, who remarked 
“ it was an affair in which force could not be used, in which wealth 


* [In Malwa (101, xxi. 34).] 

^ [Kamaru-d-din, Mir Muhammad Fazil, of Itmadu-d-daula, 

Muhammad Amin Khan Wazir, was appointed to that office A.r. 1724 : 
killed at Sarhind, March 11, 1728-] 

’ [Forty-five miles N.N.W. of Jaipur city.] 

‘ [‘ Brother by exchange of turbans.’ Khandauran Khan, Abdu-1- 
Saiuad Khan, governor of Lahore and Multan, died a.d. 1739.] 



1348 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


was useless, and which must be decided by stratagem * alone ; 
and that the conspiracy could be defeated only through the con- 
spirator.” At the Nazir’s recommendation he convened his 
principal chiefs, Mohan Singh, chief of the Nathawats ; * Dip 
Singh, Khumbani, of Bansko ; Zorawar Singh, Sheobaranpota : 
Hinimat Singh, Naruka ; Kusal Singh of Jhalai ; Bhojraj of 
Mozabad, and Fateh Singh of Maoli ; and thus addressed them on 
^the difficulties of his position : “ You placed me on the gadcii 
of Amber ; and my brother, who would be satisfied with Baswa, 
has Amber forced upon him by the Nawab Kamaru-d-din.” They 
advised him to be of good cheer, and they would manage the 
affair, provided he was sincere in assigning Baswa to his brother. 
He made out the grant at the moment, ratified it with an oath, 
and presented it with full powers to the chiefs to act for him. 
The Panch (council) of Amber sent their ministers to Bijai Singh 
provided with all the necessary arguments ; but the prince 
replied, he had no confidence in the promises or protestations of 
his brother. For themselves, and in the name of the Barah 
kothri Amber ki (file twelve great families), they gave their sita- 
ram,® or security ; adding that if Jai Singh swerved [362] from 
his engagements, they were liis, and would themselves place him 
on the gaddi of Amber. 

He accepted their interposition and the grant, which being 
explained to his patron, he was by no means satisfied ; never- 
theless he ordered Khandauran and Kirparam to accompany 
him, to see him inducted in his new appanage of Baswa. The 
chiefs, anxious to reconcile the brothers, obtained Bijai Singh's 
assent to a meeting, and as he declined going to Amber, Chaumun 
was proposed and agreed to, but was afterwards changed to the 
town of Sanganer, six miles south-west of Jaipur, where Bijai 
Singh pitched his tents. As Jai Singh was quitting the darbar 
to give his brother the meeting, the Nazir entered with a message 

‘ The Nazir is here harping on three of the four predicaments which 
(borrowed originally from Manu [Laws, viii. 159, 165, 168], and repeated 
by the great Rajput oracle, the bard Chand) govern all human events, sham, 
dan, bJied, dand, ‘ arguments, gifts, stratagem, force.’ 

^ He is the hereditary premier noble of this house (as is Salumbar of 
Mewar, and the Awa chief of Marwar), and is familiarly called the ‘ Patel 
of Amber.’ His residence is Chaumun, which is the place of rendezvous of 
the feudality of Amber, whenever they league against the sovereign. 

® [An appeal to the deities Rama and his wife SIta.] 


BIJAI SESTGH ENTRAPPED 


1349 


from the queen-mother, to know “ why her eyes should not be 
blessed with witnessing the meeting and reconeiliation of the 
two Laljis.” ‘ The Raja referred the request to the chiefs, who 
said there coidd he no ohjeetion. 

The Nazir prepared the mahadol,’ with three hundred chariots 
for the females ; but instead of the royal litter containing the 
queen-mother, it was oecupied by Ugar Sen. the Bhatti chief, 
and each covered chariot contained two chosen Silahposhians, 
or men at arms. Not a soul but the Nazir and his master were 
aware of the treachery. The procession left the capital ; money 
was scattered with profusion by the attendants of the supposed 
queen-mother, to the people who thronged the highways, rejoic- 
ing at the approaching conclusion of these fraternal feuds. 

Bijai Singh entrapped. — A messenger having brought the 
intelligence that the queen-mother had arrived at the palace of 
Sanganer, the Raja and his chiefs mounted to join her. The 
brothers first met and embraced, when Jai Singh presented the 
grant of Baswa, saying, with some warmth, that if his brother 
preferred ruling at Amber, he would abandon his birthright and 
take Baswa. Bijai Singh, overcome with this kindness, replied, 
that “ all his wants were satisfied.” When the time to separate 
. had arrived, the Nazir came into the court *with a message from 
the queen-mother, to say, that if the chiefs would withdraw she 
would come and see her children, or that they might come to her 
apartment. Jai Singh referred his mother's wish to the chiefs, 
saying he had no will but theirs. Having advised the brothers 
to wait on the queen-mother, they proceeded hand in hand to 
the interior of the mahall. When arrived at the door, Jai Singh, 

, ; taking his dagger from his girdle, delivered it to an eunuch, saying, 
“ What occasion for this here ? ” [363] and Bijai Singh, not to 
be outdone in confidence, followed his example. As the Nazir 
closed the door, Bijai Singh found himself, not in the embrace 
of the queen-mother, but in the iron grip of the gigantic Bhatti, 
who instantly bound him hand and foot, and placing him in the 
mahadol, the mock female procession with their prisoner returned 
to Amber. In an hour, tidings were conveyed to Jai Singh of 
» the prisoner being safely lodged in the castle, when he rejoined 

Lalji is an epithet of endearment used by all classes of Hindus towards 
their children, from the Sanskrit lal, lad, ‘ to sport.’ 

- [A state litter, generally used by ladies of the Court.] 


1350 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


the conclave of his chiefs ; who on seeing him enter alone, attended 
by some of the ‘ men at arms,’ stared at each other, and asked 
“ What had become of Bijai Singh ? ” — “ Hamare pet men," 
‘ in my belly ’ ! was the reply. “ We are both the sons of Bishan 
Singh, and I the eldest. If it is your wish that he should rule, 
then slay me and bring him forth. For you I have forfeited my 
faith, for should Bijai Singh have introduced, as he assuredly 
would, your enemies and mine, you must have perished.” Hear- 
ing this, the chiefs were amazed ; but there was no remedy, and 
they left the palace in silence. Outside were encamped six 
thousand imperial horse, furnished by the wazir as the escort of 
Bijai Singh, whose commander demanded what had become of 
tlieir trust. Jai Singh replied, It was no affair of theirs,” and 
desired them to be gone, “ or he would request their horses of 
them.” They had no altern.ative but to retrace their steps, and 
thus was Bijai Singh made prisoner.* 

Whatever opinion the moralist may attach to this specimen 
of ‘ the hundred and nine gun ’ of the royal astronomer of 
Amber, which might rather be styled giina ’ (vice) than gun 
(virtue), no one will deny that it was done in a most masterly 
manner, and where chal or stratagem is a necessary expedient, 
did honour to the talents of Jai Singh and the Nazir, who alone, 
says the narrative, were accessory to the plot. In this instance, 
moreover, it was perfectly justifiable ; for wath the means and 
influence of the wazir to support him, Bijai Singh must, sooner or 
later, have supplanted his brother. The fate of Bijai Singh is 
not stated. 

Services of Jai Singh to Jaipur State. — The Kachhwaha State, 
as well as its capital, owes everything to Jai Singh : before his 
time, it had little political weight beyond that which it acquired 
from the personal character of its princes, and their estunation 
at the Mogul court. Yet, notwithstanding the intimate connexion 
which existed between the Amber Rajas and the imperial family, 
from Babur to Aurangzeb, their patrimonial estates had been very 
little enlarged since Pajun, the contemporary of the last Rajput 
emperor of Delhi. Nor was it till [364] the troubles which ensued 

* I have made a verbatim translation of this gun. 

^ This is a singular instance of making the privative an affix instead of 
prefix; a-gun, ‘without virtue,’ would be the common form. [(?) guna 
may mean ‘ virtue,’ or the reverse (Mon ier- Williams, Sanslrit Did s.v. ; 
Brahmanism and Hinduism, 4th ed. 30).] 



LIMITS OP JAIPUR AT JAI SINGH’S ACCESSION 1351 


on the demise of Aurangzeb, when the empire was eventually 
partitioned, that Amber was entitled to the name of a raj. Dur- 
ing those troubles, Jai Singh’s power as the king’s lieutenant in 
Agra, which embraced his hereditary domains, gave him ample 
opportunity to enlarge and consolidate his territory. The manner 
in which he possessed himself of the independent districts of 
Deoti and Rajor,' affords an additional insight into the national 
character, and that of this prince. 

Limits of Jaipur State. — At the accession of Jai Singh, the raj 
of Amber consisted only of three parganas or districts of Amber, 
Daosa, and Baswa ; the western tracts had been sequestrated, 
and added to the royal domains attached to Ajmer. The Shaikh- 
avati confederation was superior to, and independent of, the 
parent State, whose boundaries were as follows. The royal 
thana (garrison) of Chatsu,® to the south ; those of Sambhar to 
the west, and Hastina to the north-west ; while to the east, 
Daosa and Baswa formed its frontier. The Kothribands, as 
they denominate the twelve great feudalities, possessed but 
very slender domains, and were held cheap by the great vassals 
of Mewar, of whom the Salumbar chief was esteemed, even by 
the first Peshwa, as the equal of the prince of the, Kachh- 
; wahas. 

Rajor. — Rajor was a city of great antiquity, the capital of a 
petty State called Deoti,’ ruled by a chief of the Bargujar tribe, 
descended, like the Kachhwahas, from Rama, but through Lava, 
the elder son. The Bargujars of Rajor had obtained celebrity 
aipongst the more modern Rajputs, by their invincible repug- 
nance to matrimonial alliance with the Muhammadans ; and 
while the Kachhwahas set the degrading example, and by so 
r doing eventually raised themselves to affluence, the Bargujar 
‘ conquered renown in the song of the bard,’ by performing the 
' sakha in defence of his honour. While, therefore, Sawai Jai 
Singh ruled as a viceroy over kingdoms, the Bargujar was serving 
■ with his contingent with the Baisi,* and at the period in question, 

* [Both now in Macheri of the Alwar State.] 

’ [Thirty miles E. of Jaipur city.] 

» ’ [Now in Macheri, Alwar State.] 

* [‘The twenty-two,’ a term originally applied to the Mughal army, 
eeause it was supposed to contain twenty-two lakh.s of men. The twenty- 
ro nobles of Jaipur were a later creation.] 



1352 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


in Anupshahr, on the Ganges. Wlien absent on duty, the safety 
of Rajor depended on his younger brother. One day, while pre- 
paring for the chase of the wild boar, he bceanie so impatient for 
his dinner, lhal his sister-in-law remarked, " One would suj)pose 
you ^vere going to throw a lance at Jai Singh, you arc in such a 
hurry.” This was touching a tender subject, for it will be re- 
collected that the first territory in the plains obtained by the 
Kaehhwahas, on their migration from Narwar, was Daosa, a 
Bargiijar possession. *• By Thakurji (the Lord), I shall do so, 
ere I eat from your hands again,” was the fierce reply. With ten 
horsemen he left Rajor, and took post [30.)] under the Dhidkot, 
or ‘ mud walls,’ of Amber. 

Attempted Assassination of Jai Singh. — But weeks and months 
fled ere he found an opportunity to execute his threat ; he gradu- 
ally sold all his horses, and was obliged to dismiss his attendants. 
Still he lingered, and sold his clothes, and all his arms, except his 
spear ; he had been three days without food, when he sold half 
his turban for a meal. That day Jai Singh left the castle by the 
road called morn, a circuitous path to avoid a hill. He was in his 
sukhasan ; ^ as he passed, a spear was delivered, which lodged in 
the corner of the litter. A hundred swords flew out to slay the 
assassin ; but the Raja called aloud to take him alive, and carr\' 
him to Amber. IMien brought before him and asked who he was, 
and the cause of such an act, he boldly replied, “ I am the Deoti 
Bargujar, and threw the spear at you merel}' from some words 
with my Bhabhi ; ^ either kill or release me.” He related how 
long he had lain in wait for him, and added that “ had he not been 
four days without food, the spear would have done its duly.” 
Jai Singh, with politic magnanimity, freed him from restraint, 
gave hun a horse and dress of honour (khilat), and sent him 
escorted by fifty horse, in safety to Rajor. Having told his 
adventure to his sister-in law, she replied, “ You have wounded 
the envenomed snake, and have given water to the State of 
Rajor. She knew that a pretext alone was wanting to Jai Singh 
and this was now unhappily given. With the advice of the elders, 
the females and children were sent to the Raja at Anupshahr,= 
and the castles of Deoti and Rajor were prepared for the storm. 

^ A litter, literally ‘ seat ^asan) of ease {suhh)^^ 

® [BhdbJii, ‘ sister-in-law.’] 

® -The descendants of this chieftain still occupy lands at Aniipshahr. 



ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF JAI SINGH 1358 


On the third da}' after the occurrence, Jai Singh, in a full 
^ meeting of his chiefs, related the circumstance, and held out the 
Mra ^ against Deoti ; but Mohan Singh of Chaumun ^ warned his 
' prince of the risk of such an attempt, as the Bargujar chief was 
^ not only estimated at court, but then served with his contingent. 

This opinion of the chief noble of Amber alarmed the assembly, 
'■ and none were eager to seek the dangerous distinction. A month 
passed, and war against Deoti was again proposed ; but none of 
the Kothribands seeming inclined to oppose the opinion of their 
ostensible head, Fateh Singh Banbirpota, the chieftain of one 
hundred and fifty vassals, accepted the hira, when five thousand 
horse were ordered to assemble under his command. Hearing 
that the Bargujar had left Rajor to celebrate the festival of 
Ganggor,^ he moved towards him, sending on some messengers 
with “ the compliments of Fateh Singh Banbirpota, and that 
he was at hand.” The young Bargujar who, little expecting 
- [366] any hostile visitation, was indulging during this festive 
season, put the heralds to death, and with his companions, com- 
pletely taken by surprise, was in turn cut to pieces by the Jaipur 
troops. The Rani of Rajor was the sister of the Kachhwaha chief 
-'ijof Chaumim : she was about giving a pledge of affection to her 
^'.aibsent lord, when Rajor was surprised and taken. Addressing the 
VVictor, Fateh Singh, she said, “ Brother, give me the gift {dan) 
ifrf my womb ” ; but suddenly recollecting that her own imwise 
’ «J)eeCh had occasioned this loss of her child’s inheritance, exclaim- 
ing, “ Why should I preserve life to engender feuds ? ” she 
sheathed a dagger in her bosom and expired. The heads of the 
4; vanquished Bargujars were tied up in handkerchiefs, and sus- 
^ pending them from their saddle-horses, the victors returned to 
^ their prince, who sent for that of his intended assassin, the 
I young Bargujar chieftain. As soon as Mohan Singh recognized 
4 the features of his kinsman, the tears poured down his face. 
Jai Singh, recollecting the advice of this, the first noble of his 
court, which delayed his revenge a whole month, called his 
grief treason, and upbraided hun, saying, “ ^Vhen the spear 
was levelled for my destruction, no tear feU.” He sequestrated 
Chaumun, and banished him from Dhimdhar : the chief foimd 
^refuge with the Rana at Udaipur. “ Thus (says the manuscript), 

alk 1 [The betel leaf eaten before battle.] 

[About 20 miles N. ff Jaipur city-] ® [See Vol. II. p. 665.] 

VOL. Ill H 



1354 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 

did Jai Singh dispossess the Bargujar of Deoti and Rajor, which 
were added to his dominions : they embraced all the tract now 
called Macheri.” ^ 

Amongst the foibles of Jai Singh's character was lus |)artiuhty 
to ‘ strong drink.' IVhat this beverage was, whether the juice 
of the madhu (mead), or the essence {arak) of rice, the traditional 
chronicles of Amber do not declare, though they mention frequent 
appeals from Jai Singh drunk, to Jai Singh sober ; one anecdote 
has already been related." 

In spite of his many defects, Jai Singh’s name is destined to 
descend to ] 30 sterity as one of the most remarkable men of his 
age and nation. 

Erection of Buildings. — Until Jai Singh’s time, the palace of 
Amber, built by the great Raja IMan, inferior to many private 
houses in the new city, was the chief royal residence. The Mirza 
Raja made several additions to it, but these were trifles compared 
with the edifice added ^ by Sawai Jai Singh, which has made the 
residence of the Kachhwaha princes [367] as celebrated as those 
of Bundi or ITdaipur, or, to borrow a more appropriate comparison, 
the Kremlin at Moscow. It was in S. 1784 (.^.d. 1728) that he 
laid the foundation of Jaipur. Raja Mall was the Musahib.'' 
Kirparam the stationary wakil at Delhi, and Budh Singh Khum- 
bani, with the urdu, or royal camp, in the Deccan : aU eminent 
men. The position he chose for the new capital enabled him to 
connect it with the ancient castle of Amber, situated upon a 
peak at the apex of the re-entering angle of the range called 
Kalikoh ; a strong circumvallation enclosed the gorge of the 
mountain, and was carried over the crest of the hills, on either 
side, to unite with the castle, whilst all the adjoining passes were 
strongly fortified. 

Sumptuary Laws : Tolerance. — ^The sumptuary laws which he 

1 Rajor is esteemed a place of great antiquity, and the chief seat of the 
Bargujar tribe for ages, a tribe mentioned with high respect in the works of 
the bard Chand, and celebrated in the wars of Prithiraj. I sent a party to 
Rajor in 1813. 

^ Annals of Marwar, Vol. II. p. 1048. 

* The manuscript says, “ On the spot where the first Jai Singh erected 
the three mahalls, and excavated the tank called the Talkatora, he erected 
other edifices.” As Hindu princes never throw down the works of their 
predecessors, this means that he added greatly to the old palace. 

* [Aide-de-camp.] 



THE ASVAMEDHA 


1355 


endeavoured to establish throughout Rajputana for the regula- 
tion of marriages, in order to check those lavish expenses that 
led to infanticide and satis, will be again called forth when the 
time is ripe for the abolition of all such unhallowed acts. For 
this end, search should be made for the historical legends called 
the ‘ hundred and nine acts,’ in the archives of Jaipur, to which 
ready access could be obtained, and which should be ransacked 
for all the traces of this great man’s mind.* Like all Hindus, he 
was tolerant ; and a Brahman, a Muhammadan, or a Jain, were 
alike certain of patronage. The Jains enjoyed his peculiar estima- 
tion, from the superiority of their knowledge, and he is said to 
have been thoroughly conv-ersant both in their doctrines and 
their histories. Vidyadhar, one of his chief coadjutors in his 
astronomical pursuits, and whose genius planned the city of Jaipur, 
was a Jain, and claimed spiritual descent from the celebrated 
Hemacharya, of Nahrvala, minister and spiritual guide of bis 
namesake, the great Siddliraj Jai Singh.^ 

The Asvamedha. — Amongst the vanities of the founder of 
Amber, it is said that he intended to get up the ceremony of the 
Asvamedha yajna, or ‘ sacrifice of the horse,’ a rite which his re- 
search into the traditions of his nation must have informed him had 
entailed destruction on aU who had attempted it, from the days 
of Janamejaya the Pandu, to Jaichand, the last Rajput monarch 
of Kanauj. It was a virtual assumption of universal supremacy ; 
and although, perhaps, in virtue of his office, as the satrap of 
Delhi, the horse dedicated to the sun might have wandered un- 
molested on the banks of the Ganges, he would most assuredly 
have found his way into a Rathor stable had he roamed in the 
direction of the desert : or at the risk both of jiva and gaddi 
(life and throne), the Hara [368] would have seized him, had he 
fancied the pastures of the Chambal.’ He erected a sacrificial 

* By such researches we should in all probability recover those sketches 
of ancient history of the various dynasties of Kajputana, which he is said 
to have collected with great pains and labour, and the genealogies of the old 
races, under the titles of RajavaU and Rajatarangini ; besides, the astro- 
nomical works, either original or translations, such as were collected by Jai 
Singh, would be a real gift to science. 

* He ruled from S. 1150 to S. 1201, a.d. 1094—1143. [Hemacharya, or 
HemaChandra, was a famous scholar who flourished in the reigns of Siddha- 
raja Jayasingha and Kumarapala. He is said to have been converted to 

(; Islam (BG, i. Part i. 180 f., 182 f., ix. Part ii. 26, note.] 

4 “ See Vol. I. p. 91, for a description of the rite of Asvamedha. 


1356 ANNALS OP AMBER OR JAIPUR 

hall of much beauty and splendour, whose columns and ceilings 
were covered with plates of silver ; nor is it improbable that t e 
steed, emblematic of Surya, may have been led round the a , 
and afterwards sacrificed to the solar divinity. The Yajnasa a 
of Jai Singh, one of the great ornaments of the city, was, how- 
ever, stripped of its rich decoration by his profligate descendant, 
the late Jagat Singh, who had not the grace even of Rehoboam, 
to replace them with inferior ornaments ; and the noble treasures 
of learning which Jai Singh had collected from every quarter, the 
accumulated results of his own research and that of his pre- 
decessors, were divided into two portions, and one-half was given 
to a common prostitute, the favourite of the day. The most 
remarkable MSS. were, till lately, hawking about Jaipur. 

Sawai Jai Singh died in S. 1799 (a.d. 1743), having ruled forty- 
four years. Three of his wives and several concubines ascended 
his funeral pyre, on which science expired with him. 


CHAPTER 3 

The Bajpnt League. — The league formed at this time by the 
three chief powers of Rajputana has already been noticed in the 
Annals of Mewar. It was one of self-preservation ; and while 
the Rathors added to Marwar from Gujarat, the Kachhwahas 
consolidated all the districts in their neighbourhood under Amber. 
The Shaikhavati federation was compelled to become tributary, 
and but for the rise of the Jats, the State of Jaipur would have 
extended from the lake of Sambhar to the Jumna [369]. 

Isari Singh, a.d. 1743-60. — Isari Singh succeeded to a -well- 
defined territory, heaps of treasure, an efficient ministrj% and a 
good army ; but the seeds of destruction lurked in the social 
edifice so lately raised, and polygamy was again the immediate 
agent. Isari Singh was the successor of Jai Singh, according to 
the fixed laws of primogeniture ; but Madho Singh, a younger 
son, born of a princess of Mewar, possessed conventional rights 
which vitiated those of birth. These have already been discussed, 
as well as their disastrous issue to the unfortunate Isari Singh, 
who was not calculated for the times, being totally deficient in 
that nervous energy of character, without which a Rajput prince 
can enforce no respect. His conduct on the Abdali invasion 



ISARI SINGH AND AIADHO SINGH 


1357 


I 

7*^ 

■ 


admitted the construction of cowardice, though Ids retreat from 
the held of battle, when the commander-in-chief, Kamaru-d-din 
Khan, was killed, might have been ascribed to pohtical motives, 
were it not recorded that his own wife received him with gibes 
and reproaches. There is every appearance of Jai Singh having 
repented of his engagement on obtaining the hand of the Sesodia 
princess, namely, that her issue should succeed, as he had in his 
lifetime given an appanage miusualiy large to Madho Singh, 
namely, the four parganas of Tonk, Rampura, Phaggi, and 
Malpura.i The Rana also, who supported his nephew’s claims, 
assigned to him the rich lief of Rampura Bhanpura in Mewar,“ 
which as well as Tonk Rampura, constituting a petty sovereignty, 
were, with eighty-four laklis (£840,000 sterling), eventually made 
over to Holkar lor supporting his claims to the ‘ cushion ’ of 
Jaipur. The consequence of this barbarous intervention in the 
international quarrels of the Rajputs aimihUated the certain 
prospect they had of national mdependence, on the breaking up 
of the empire, and subjected them to a thraldom still more 
degrading, from which a change of redemption is now offered to 
them. 

Madho Singh, a.d. 1760-78. — ^Madlio Singh, on his accession, 
displayed great vigour of mind, and though faithful to his engage- 
ments, he soon showed the Mahrattas he would admit of no pro- 
tracted interference in Ids affairs ; and had not the rising power 
of the Jats distracted his attention and divided his resources, he 
would, had his life been prolonged, in conjimction with the 
Rathors, have completely humbled their power. But this near 
enemy embarrassed all his plans. Although the history of the 
Jats is now well known, it may not be impertinent shortly to 
commemorate the rise of a power, which, from a rustic condition, 
in Uttle more than half a century was able to baffle the armies 
of Britain, led by the most popular commander it ever had in 
the East ; for till the siege of Bharatpur the name of Lake was 
always coupled with victory [370]. 

The Jats of Bharatpur. — The Jats ’ are a branch of the great 


1 [Tonk now in the State of that name ; Kampura 65 miles E., Phaggi 
32 mUes E., Malpura about 50 miles S.W. of Jaipur city.] 

“ [Now lost to Mewar, being included in Indore State.] 

® It has been seen how the Yadu-Bhatti princes, when thej^ fell from their 
rank of Rajputs, assumed that of Jats, or Jats, who are assuredly a mixture 



1358 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Getic race, of which enough lias been said in various parts of this 
work. Though reduced from the rank they once had amongst the 
‘ Thirty-six Royal Races,’ they appear never to have renounced 
the love of independence, which they contested wdth Cyrus in 
their original haunts hi Sogdiaiia. The name of the Cincimiatus 
of the Jats, who abandoned his plough to lead his countrymen 
against their tyrants, was Churaman. Taking advantage of the 
sanguinary civil wars amongst the successors of Aurangzeb, they 
erected petty castles in the villages (whose lands they cultivated) 
of Thun and Sansani,^ and soon obtained the distinction of 
Kazaks, or ‘ robbers,' a title wliieh they were not slow to merit, 
by their inroads as far as the royal abode of Farrukhsiyar. The 
Sayyids, then in power, commanded Jai Singh of Amber to attack 
them in their strongholds, and Thun and Sansani were simul- 
taneously invested. But the Jats, even in the verj' infancy of 
their power, evinced the same obstinate skill in defending mud 
walls, which hi later times gained them so much celebrity. The 
royal astronomer of Amber was foiled, and after tw'elve months 
of toil, was ingloriously compelled to raise both sieges. 

Not long after this event, Badan Singh, the younger brother 
of Churaman, and a joint proprietor of the land, was for some 
imsconduct placed in restraint, and had remained so for some 
years, when, through ^the intercession of Jai Singh and the 
guarantee of the other Bhumia Jats, he was hberated. His first 
act was to fly to Amber, and to bring its prince, at the head of 
an army, to invest Thun, which, after a gallant defence of six 
months, surrendered and was razed to the ground. Churaman 
and Ms son, 3Iohkam Singh, effected their escape, and Badan 
Smgh was proclahned chief of the Jats, and installed, as Raja, 
by Jai Singh m the town of Dig, destined also in after times to 
have its share of fame. 


Badan Smgh had a numerous progeny, and four of his sons 
obtamed notoriety, namely, Surajmall, Sobharam, Partap Smgh, 
a^ Birnarayan. Badan Singh subjected several of the royal 


of the Rajput and Yuti, Jat or Gete races. See Vol. I. p. 127. [The Autbi,r 
S'the attack of Cyrus on the Massagetae, whose connexion 

, ro supported by evidence (Herodotus i. 20t 

[SansMi about 16 miles N.W. of Bharatpur city ; Thun 12 wiles W of 
Sansam For the sieges of Thun by Jai Singh in 1716 and 1 722,“ee Irvine 
rmy of the Indian Moghuls, 285 2. ; for Sansani, Manucci ii. 320 f. iv. 242.] 


THE JATS OF BHARATPUR 


1359 


districts to his authority. He abdicated his power in favour of 
his elder son, Surajmall, having in the first instance assigned the 
district of Wer,^ on which he had constructed a fort, to his son 
Partap. 

Surajmall inherited all the turbulence and energy requisite 
to carry on the plans of his predecessors. His first act was to 
dispossess a relative, named Raima, of the castle [371] of Bharat- 
pur, afterwards the celebrated capital of the Jats.“ In the year 
S. 1820 (a.d. 1764), Surajmall carried his audacity so far as to 
make an attempt upon the imperial city ; but here- his career was 
cut short by a party of Baloeh horse, who slew him while enjoying 
the chase. He had five sons, namely, Jawahir Singh, Ratan 
Singh, Newal Singh, Nahar Singh, Ranjit Singh, and also an 
adopted son, named Hardeo Bakhsh, picked up while hunting. 
Of these five sons, the first two were by a wife of the Kurmi ® 
tribe ; the third was by a wife of the Malin, or horticultural class ; 
wliile the others were by Jatnis or women of his own race. 

Jawahir Singh, who succeeded, was the contemporary of Raja 
Madho Singh, whose reign in Jaipur we have just reached ; and 
to the Jat’s determination to measure swords with him were owing, 
not only the frustration of his schemes for humbling the Mahratta, 
but the dismemberment of the country by the defection of the 
chief of Macheri. Jawahir Singh, in a.h. 1182, ha\nng in vain 
solicited the district of Ramona, manifested his resentment by 
instantly marching through the Jaipur territories to the sacred 
lake of Pushkar, without any previous intimation. He there 
met Raja Bijai Singh of Marwar, who, in spite of his Jat origin, 
condescended to ‘ exchange turbans,’ the sign of friendship and 
fraternal adoption. At this period, Hadho Singh's health was 
on the decline, and his counsels were guided by two brothers, 
named Harsahai and Gursahai, who represented the insulting 
conduct of the Jat and required instructions. They were com- 
manded to address him a letter warning him not to return through 
the territories of Amber, and the chiefs were desired to assemble 

^ [About 28 miles S.W. of Bharatpur city.] 

^ [In 1761 he captured A^ra, which the Jats held till they were ousted 
by the Marathas in 1770 {IGI, v. 83).] 

® The Kurmi (the Kulumbi of the Deccan) is perhaps the most numerous, 
next to the Jats, of all the agricultural classes. [In 1911 there were 7 
million Jats and SJ million Kurniis in India.] 



1360 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


their retainers in order to piuiish a repetition of the insult . But 
the Jat, who had determined to abide the consequences, paid no 
regard to the letter, and returned homewards by the same route. 
Tliis was a justifiable ground of quarrel, and the united Kothri- 
bands marched to the encounter, to maintain the pretensions of 
their equestrian order against the plebeian Jat. A desperate 
conflict ensued, which, though it terminated in favour of the 
Kaclihwahas and in the flight of the leader of the Jats, jjroved 
destructive to Amber, in the loss of almost every chieftain of 
note* [372]. 

Separation of Macheri or Alwar State, a.d. 1771-76, — This 
battle was the indirect cause of the formation of Macheri into 
an independent State, which a few words will explain. Partap 
Singh, of the Naruka clan, held the lief of Macheri ; for some 
fault he was banished the country by Madho Singh, and fled to 
Jawahir Singh, from whom he obtained saran (sanctuarj'), and 
lands for his maintenance. The ex-chieftain of Macheri had, as 
conductors of his household affairs and his agents at court, two 
celebrated men, Khushhaliram ‘ and Nandrani, who now shared 
liis exile amongst the Jats. Though enjoying proteetion and 
hospitality at Bharatpur, they did not the less feel the national 
insult, in that the Jat should dare thus unceremoniously to 


* Having given a slight sketch of the origiti of the Jats, I may here con- 
clude it. Katan Singh, the brother of Jawahir, succeeded him. He was 
assassinated by a Gosain Brahman from Bindraban, who had undertaken 
to teach the Jat prince the transmutation of metals, and had obtained con- 
siderable sums on pretence of preparing the process. Finding the clay arrive 
on which he was to commence operations, and which would reveal his 
imposture, he had no way of escape but by applying the knife to his dupe. 
Kesari Singh, an infant, succeeded, under the guardianship of his uncle, 
Newal Singh. Eanjit Singh succeeded him, a name renowned for the 
defence of Bharatpur against Lord Lake. He died A.n. 1805, r.nd was 
™cceeded by the eldest of four sons, namclv, Randliir Singh, Baldeo Sin<rh. 
Hardeo Singh, and Lachhman Singh. Ihe infant son of Kandhir succeeded, 
under the tutelage of his uncle ; to remove whom the British army destroyed 
Bharatpur, and plundered it of its wealth, both public and private. IThe 
son of Randhir Singh was Balwaiit Singh, who was cast into prison by his 
cousm, Durjansal. He was captured by Lord Comberinere when he stormed 
Bharatpur in 1826. Balwant Singh was restored, and dying in 1853 was 
succeeded by Jaswant Singh, who died in 1893, and was succeeded by his 
TOn Rani Singh, deposed for misconduct in 1900, and succeeded by his son 
Kishan Smgh, bom in 1899 {IGI, viii, 74 ff).] 

1 of two men scarcely less celebrated than himself, Chhatarbhui 

and Daula Ram. 




PRITHI SINGH II. 


1361 


traverse their country. IVhether the chief saw in this juncture 
^ an opening for reconciliation with his liege lord, or that a pure 
y spirit of patriotism alone influenced him, he abandoned the place 
^ of refuge, and ranged himself at his old post, under the standard 
of Amber, on the eve of the battle, to the gaining of which he 
contributed not a little For tliis opportune act of loyalty his 
past errors were forgiven, and Madho Singh, who only survived 
tliat battle four days, restored him to his favour and his fief of 
Macheri. 

Madho Singh died of a dysentery, after a rule of seventeen years. 
Had he been spared, in all human probability he would have 
repaired the injurious effects of the contest which gave him the 
gaddi of Amber ; but a minority, and its accustomed anarchy, 
made his death the point from which the Kachhwaha power 
declined. He built several cities, of wliich that called after him 
Madhopur, near the celebrated fortress of Ranthambhor, the 
most secure of the commercial cities of Rajwara, is the most re- 
; markable. He inherited no small portion of his father’s love of 
science, which continued to make Jaipur the resort of learned 
men, so as to eclipse even the sacred Benares. 

Prithi Singh IL, a.d. 1778. — Prithi Singh II., a minor, succeeded, 
I under the guardianship of the mother of his yoimger brother, 
j. Partap. The queen-regent, a Chondawatni, was of an ambitious 
and resolute character, but degraded by her paramour, Firoz, 
Sf, a Filban, or ‘ elephant-driver,’ whom she made member of her 
council, which disgusted the cliiefs, who aUenated themselves 
from court and remained at their estates. Determined, however, 
to dispense with their aid, she entertained a mercenary army 
under the celebrated Ambaji, with which she enforced the collec- 
; tion of the revenue. Arath Ram was at [373] this period the 
Diwan, or prime minister, and Khushhaliram Bohra, a name after- 
wards conspicuous in the politics of this court., was associated in 
the ministry. But though these men were of the highest order 
of talent, their influence was neutralized by that of the Filban, 
who controlled both the regent Rani and the State. Matters 
remained in this humiliating posture during nine years, when 
" Prithi Singh died through a fall from his horse, though not without 
suspicions that a dose of poison accelerated the vacancy of the 
gaddi, which the Rani desired to see occupied by her own son. 
The scandalous chronicle of that day is by no means tender of the 


1362 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


reputation of Madlio Singh’s widow. Having a direct interest 
in the death of Prithi Singh, the laws, of common sense were 
violated in appointing her guardian, notwithstanding her claims 
as Patrani, or chief queen of the deceased. Prithi Singh, though 
he never emerged from the trammels of minority and the tutelage 
of the Chondawatni, yet contracted two marriages, one with 
Bikaner, the other with Kishangarh. By the latter he had a son, 
Man Singh. Every court in Rajputana has its pretender, and 
young Man was long the bugbear to the court of Amber. He was 
removed secretly, on his father’s death, to the maternal roof at 
Kishangarh ; but as this did not offer sufficient security, he was 
sent to Sindhia’s camp, and has ever since lived on the bounty of 
the Mahratta chief at Gwalior.^ 

Partap Singh, a.d. 1778-1803. — Partap Singh - was immediately 
placed upon the gaddi by the queen-regent, his mother, and her 
council, consisting of the Filban, and Khusldialiram, who had 
now received the title of Raja, and the rank of prime minister. 
He employed the power thus obtained to supplant his rival Firoz, 
and the means he adopted established the independence of his 
old master, the chief of ISIacheri. This chief was the only one of 
note who absented himself from the ceremony of the installation 
of his sovereign. He was countenanced by the minister, whose 
plan to get rid of his rival was to create as much confusion as 
possible. In order that distress might reach tlie court, he gave 
private instructions that the zemindars should withhold their 
payments ; but these minor stratagems would have been unavail- 
ing, had he not associated in his schemes the last remnants of 
power about the Mogul throne. Najaf Khan was at this time 
the imperial commander, who, aided by the JIahrattas, proceeded 
to expel the [374] Jats from the city of .Vgra. He then attacked 

^ Two or three times he had a chance of being placed on the ijnddi (< irfe 
letter of Resident with Sindhia to Goveninient, March 27, 1812). nhich 
assuretUy ought to be his : once, about 1810, when the nobles of Jaij.ur 
were disgusted with the libertine Jagat Singh ; and again, upon the death 
of this dissolute prince, in 1820. The last occasion presented a fit occasion 
for his accession ; but the British Government were then the arbitrators, 
and 1 doubt much if his claims were disclosed to it, or understood by those 
who had the decision of the question, which nearly terminated in a civil uar. 

[The Author’s dates do not agree with those of Prinsep Tables, 

ed. 1834, p. 112) w hich are given in the margin.] 

^ [Najaf Khan, Amiru-l-Umara, Zulfikaru-d-daula, died a.d. 1782.] 



PARTAP SINGH 


1363 


X 




t 


1 


them in their stronghold of Bharatpur. Nawal Singh was then 
the chief of the Jats. The Macheri chief saw in the last act of 
expiring vigour of the imperialists an opening for the furtherance 
of his views, and he united his troops to those of Najaf Khan. 
This timely succour, and his subsequent aid in defeating the Jats, 
obtained for him the title of Rao Raja, and a sanad for Macheri, 
to hold direct of the crown. Khushlialiram, who, it is said, 
chalked out this course, made his old master’s success the basis of 
his own operations to supplant the P'ilban. Affecting the same 
zeal that he recommended to the chief of Macheri, he volunteered 
to join the imperial standard with all the forces of Amber. The 
queen-regent did not oppose the Bolira's plan, but determined 
out of it still higher to exalt her favourite : she put him at the 
head of the force, which post the minister had intended for him- 
self. This exaltation proved his ruin. Firoz, in command of 
the Amber army, met the Rao Raja of Macheri on equal terms 
in the tent of the imperial commander. Foiled in these schemes 
of attaining the sole control of affairs, through the measure 
adopted, the Macheri chief, at the instigation of his associate, 
resolved to accomplish his objects by less justifiable means. He 
sought the friendship of the Filban, and so successfully ingratiated 
himself in his confidence as to administer a dose of poison to hinr, 
and in conjunction with the Bohra succeeded to the charge of 
the govermnent of Amber. The regent queen soon followed 
the Filban, and Raja Partap was yet too young to guide the 
state vessel without aid. The Rao Raja and the Bohra, alike 
ambitious, soon quarrelled, and a division of the imperialists, 
under the celebrated Hamidan Khan, was called in by the Bohra. 
Then followed those interminable broils which brought in the 
Malirattas. Leagues were formed with them against the im- 
periaUsts one day, and dissolved the next ; and this went on 
until the majority of Partap, who determined to extricate himself 
from bondage, and formed that league, elsewhere mentioned, 
which ended in the glorious victory of Tonga, and for a time 
the expulsion of all their enemies, whether unperial or Mahrattas. 

To give a full narrative of the events of this reign, would be 
to recount the history of the empire in its expiring moments. 
Throughout the twenty-five years’ ride of Partap, he and his 
country underwent many vicissitudes. He was a gallant prince, 
and not deficient in judgment ; but neither gallantry nor 



136J, 


ANN/VLS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


prudence could successfully apply the resources of liis petty State 
against its numerous predatory foes and its internal dissensions. 
The defection of Macheri was a serious blow to Jaipur, and tlie 
necessary subsidies soon lightened the hoards accumulated br 
his predecessors. Two payments 1375J to the Mahrattas toos 
away eighty laklis of rupees (£800,000) ; yet such was the mass el' 
treasure, notwithstanding the enormous smns lavished by Madlui 
Singh for the support of his claims, besides those of the regency, 
that Partap expended in charity alone, on the- victory of Tonga, 
A.D. 1789, the sum of twenty-four laklis, or a quarter of a million 
sterling. 

In A.D. 1701, after the subsequent defeats at Patau, and the 
disruption of the alliance with the Rathors, Tukaji Holkar in- 
vaded Jaipur, and extorted an annual tribute, which was after- 
wards transferred to Amir Khan, and continues a permanent in- 
cumbrance on the resources of Jaipur. From this period to 
A.D. 1803, tlie year of Partap’s death, his countiy was alternately 
desolated by Sindhia’s armies, under De Boigne or Perron, and 
the other hordes of robbers, who frequently contested with each 
other the possession of the spoils.* 

Jagat Singh, a.d. 1803-18. — Jagat Singh succeeded in a.d. 
1803, and ruled for seventeen [fifteen] years, with the disgrace- 
ful distinction of being the most dissolute prince of Iris race or 
of his age. The events with which his reign is crowded would 
fill volumes were they worthy of being recorded. Foreign in- 
vasions, cities besieged, capitulations and war-contributions, 
occasional acts of heroism, when the invader forgot the point of 
honour, court intrigues, diversified, not unfrequently, by an 
appeal to the sword or dagger, even in the precincts of the court. 
Sometmies the daily journals (akhbars) disseminated the scandal 
of the Rawala (female apartments), the follies of the libertine 
prince with his concubine Raskafur, or even less worthy objects, 
who excluded from the nuptial couch his lawful mates of the 
noble blood of Jodha, or Jaisal, the Rathors and Bhattis of the 
desert. We shall not disgrace these annals with the history of 
a life which discloses not one redeeming virtue amidst a cluster of 
effeminate vices, including the rankest, in the opinion of a Rajput 
— cowardice. The black transaction respecting the princess of 

* [For these campaigns see Compton, European Military Adventurers 
145 ff., 237 ff.] 



JAGAT SINGH 


1365 


Udaipur, has already been related (Vol. I. p. 536), which covered 
him with disgrace, and inflicted a greater loss, in his estimation 
,^ even than that of character— a million sterling. The treasures 
->of the Jai Mandir were rapidly dissipated, to the grief of those 
5 faithful hereditary guardians, the Minas of Kalikoh, some of 
i whom eommitted suicide rather than see these sacred deposits 
f squandered on their prince’s unworthy pursuits. The lofty walls 
which surrounded the beautiful city of Jai Singh were insulted 
by every marauder ; commerce was interrupted, and agriculture 
rapidly declined, partly from insecurity, biit still more from the 
perpetual exactions of his minions [.376]. One day a tailor '■ 
ruled the councils, the next a Bania, who might be succeeded 
by a Brahman, and each had in turn the honour of elevation to 
- the donjon keep of Nahargarh, the castle where criminals are 
‘ confined, overlooking the city. The feodal chiefs held both his 
. authority and his person in utter contempt, and the pranks he 
V played with the ‘ Essence of Camphor ’ (ras-kafur),^ at one time 
.. led to serious thoughts of depiosing him ; which project, when 
near maturity, was defeated by transferring “ this queen of half 
of Amber,” to the prison of Nahargarh. In the height of his 
' passion for this Islamite concubine, he formally installed her as 
, queen of half his dominions, and actually conveyed to her in 
gift a moiety of the personality of the crown, even to the invalu- 
able library of the illustrious Jai Singh which was despoiled, and 
its treasures distributed amongst her base relations. The Raja 
/ even struck coin in her name, and not only rode with her on the 
'&ame elephant, but demanded from his chieftains those forms 
gof reverence towards her wliich were paid only to his legitimate 

t ueens. This their pride could not brook, and though the Diwan 
r prime minister, Misr Sheonarayan, albeit a Brahman, called her 
daughter,’ the brave Chand Singh of Duni ® indignantly refused 
' \o take part in any ceremony at which she was present. This 
contumacy was punished by a mulct of £20,000, nearly four 
years’ revenue of the fief of Duni ! 

* Rorji Khawass was a tailor by birth, and, I believe, had in early life 
exercised the trade. He was, however, amongst the Musahibs, or privy 

,councillore of Jagat Singh, and (I think) one of the ambassadors sent to treat 

with Lord Lake. 

Uas-Karpur or Kapur, I am aware, means ‘ corrosive sublimate,’ but 
may also be interpreted ‘ essence of camphor ’ [Kafur], 

“ [About 75 miles S. of Jaipur city.) 



13C6 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPTftl 


Death of Jagat Singh. — ^Manu allows that sovereigns may be 
deposed,* and the aristocracy of Amber had ample justification 
for such an act. But unfortunately the design became known, j 
and some judicious friend, as a salvo for the Raja’s dignity. pro-^L 
pagated a report injurious to the fair fame of his Aspasia. which 
he affected to believe ; a mandate issued for the sequestration 
of her property, and her incarceration in the castle allotted to 
criminals. There she was lost sight of, and Jagat continued td^ 
dishonour the gaddi of Jai Singh until his death, on a day held* 
especially sacred by the Rajput, the 21st of December 1818, the ' 
winter solstice, when, to use their own metaphorical language, 

“ the door of heaven is reopened.” 

Raja Jagat Singh left no issue, legitimate or illegitimate, and 
no provision had been made for a successor during his life. But » 
as the laws of Rajputana, political or religious, admit of no 
interregnum, and the funereal pyre must be lit by an adopted 
child if there be no natural issue, it was necessary at once to 
inaugurate a successor [.377] : and the choice fell on Mohan 
Singh, son of the ex-prince of Narwar. As this selection, in 
opposition to the established rules of succession, would, but for 
a posthumous birth, have led to a civil war. it may be proper 
to touch briefly upon the subject of heirs-presumptive in 
Rajputana, more especially those of Jaipur : the want of exact 
knowledge respecting this point, in those to whom its political 
relations with us were at that time entrusted, might have had 
the most injurioiis effects on the British character. To set this 
in its proper light, we shall explain the principles of the alliance^ ^ 
which rendered Jaipur a tributary of Britain. 


CHAPTER 4 

The British AUiance, 1818. — Jaipur was the last of the 

principalities of Rajputana to accept the protection tendered 
by the government of British India. To the latest moment, she 
delayed her sanction to a system which was to banish for ever 
the enemies of order. Our overtures and expostulations were - 

* [The reference is possibly to the text : “ That king who throiish follv 
rashly oppresses the kingdom wiU, with his relations, ere long be deprived 
of his life and of his kingdom ” {Laics, vii. 111).] 


HESITATION TO ACCEPT THE TREATY 


1367 


rejected, until the predatory powers of India had been, one after 
another, laid prostrate at our feet. The Pindaris were annihil- 
ated ; the Peshwa was exiled from Poona to the Ganges ; the 
Bhonsla was humbled ; Sindhia palsied by his fears ; and Holkar, 
wlio had extensive lands assigned him, besides a regular tribute 
from Jaipur, had received a death-blow to his power in the field 
of Mahidpur.^ 

Procrastination is the favourite expedient of all Asiatics ; and 
the Rajput, though a fatalist, often, by protracting the irresistible 
honhar (destiny), works out his deliverance. Amir Khan, the 
lieutenant of Holkar, who held the lands and tribute of Jaipur 
in jaedad, or assignment for his troops, was the sole enemy of 
social order left to operate on the fears of Jaipur, and to urge 
her to take refuge in our alliance ; and even he was upon the 
point of becoming one of the illustrious allies, who were to enjoy 
the “ perpetual friendship ” of Great Britain. The Khan was 
at that very moment [378] battering Madhorajpura, a town almost 
within the sound of cannon-shot of Jaipur, and we were compelled 
to make an indirect use of this incident to hasten the decision of 
the Kachhwaha prince. The motives of his backwardness will 
appear from the following details. 

Hesitation to accept the Treaty. — ^Various considerations com- 
bined to check the ardour with which we naturally expected our 
offer of protection would be embraced. The Jaipur court retained 
a lively, but no grateful remembrance, of the solemn obligations 
we contracted with her in 1803, and the facility with which w'e 
extricated oiu-selves from them when expediency demanded, 
whilst we vainly attempted to throw the blame of violating the 
treaty upon our ally. To use the words of one who has been 
mixed up with all the political transactions of that eventful 
period, with reference to the letter delivered by the envoy at the 
Jaipur comi; from our viceroy in the East, notifying the dissolu- 
tion of the alliance : “ The justice of these grounds was warmly 
disputed by the court, which, under a lively sense of that im- 
minent danger to which it had become exposed from this measure, 
almost forgot for a moment the temper and respect which it owed 
to the English nation.” But the native envoy from Jaipur, 
attending the camp of the gallant Lake, took a still higher tone, 

^ [Mahidpur, in the Indore State, 24 miles N. of Ujjain, when Sir John 
, Malcolm defeated the Marathas on December 21, 1817.] 



1368 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


and with a manly indignation observed, that “ this was the first 
time, since the English government was established in India, 
that it had been known to make its faith subservient to its con- 
venience ” : a reproach the more bitter and unpalatable from 
its truth J 

The enlarged and prophetic views of Marquess Wellesley, 
which suggested the policy of uniting all these regidar govern- 
ments in a league against the predatory powers, were counter- 
acted by the timid, temporizing policy of Lord Cornwallis, who 
could discover nothing but weakness in this extension of our 
influenced What misery would not these States have been 
spared, had those engagements, executed through the noble 
Lake (a name never mentioned in India, by European or native, 
without reverence), been maintained ; for the fifteen years which 
intervened between the two periods produced more mischief td 
Rajwara than the preceding half century, and half a century 
more ivill not repair it ! 

A circumstance that tended to increase this distrust was our 
tearing Wazir Ali from his sanctuary at Jaipur, which has cast 
an indelible stain upon the Kachhwaha name.® We have else- 
where * explained the privileges of saran, or ‘ sanctuary,’ which, 
when claimed by the unfortunate or criminal, is sacred in the 
eye of the Rajput [379]. This trust we forced the Jaipur State 
to violate, though she was then independent of us. It was no 
excuse for the act that the fugitive was a foul assassin ; we had 
no right to demand his surrender.® 

1 Vide Malcolm’s Political History of India, p. 434. 

® [The Author, an enthusiastic political officer, ignores the considerations 
based on the state of the finances of India and the danger of the political 
situation in Europe which suggested a cautious policy in India. See J . Ji-ill, 
Hist, of British India, ed. 1817, iii. 702 ; Seton-Karr, The Marquess Corn- 
wallis, 178 fi. ; J. W. Kaye, Life of Lord Metcalfe, i. 326 fi. On the negotia- 
tions with Jaipur see Kaye, op. cit. i. 348 ff.] 

® [Wazir AU, the deposed Nawab of Oudh, murdered Mr. Cherry, the 
British Resident at Benares, on January 14, 1799. He took refuge in Jaipur, 
and the Raja, having made terms with the British, “ treacherously delivered 
bim up.” He was confined in Fort William, Calcutta, where he died in 
1817 (J. Mill, op. cit. iii. 469 ff).] 

‘ Vol. II. p. 613. 

® A better commentary on the opinions held by the natives upon this 
subject could not be given than the speech of Holkar’s envoy to the agent 
of the Governor-General of India, then with Lord Lake : “ Holcar’s vakeel 


DISPUTED SUCCESSION 


1369 


There were other objections to the proffered treaty of no small 
weight. The Jaipur court justly deemed oiie-flfth (eight lakhs) 
of the gross revenues of the crown, a high rate of insurance for 
protection ; but when we further stipulated for a prospective 
increase ^ of nearly one-third of all surplus revenue beyond forty 
lakhs, they saw. instead of the generous Briton, a sordid trafficker 
of mercenary protection, whose rapacity transcended that of the 
IVIahratta. 

Independent of these state objections, there were abundance 
of private and individual motives arrayed in hostility to the 
British offer. For example : the ministers dreaded the sur- 
v'eillance of a resident agent, as obnoxious to their authority and 
influence ; and the chieftains, whom rank and ancient usage 
kept at court as the counsellors of their prince, saw in prospect 
the surrender of crown-lands, which fraud, favour, or force had 
obtained for them. Such were the principal causes which im- 
peded the alliance between Amber and the Government-general 
of British India ; but it would have marred the uniformity of 
Lord Hastmgs’ plan to have left a gap in the general protective 
system by the omission of Jaipur. The events rapidly happening 
around them — the presence of Amir Khan — the expulsion of 
the orange flag of the Mahratta, and the substitution of the 
British banner on the battlements of Ajmer — at length produced 
a tardy and ungracious assent, and, on the 2nd of April 1818, a 
treaty of ten articles was concluded, which made the Kachhwaha 
princes the friends and tributaries in perpetuity of Great Britain. 

Disputed Succession. — On the 21st of December of the same 
year, Jagat Singh died, and tjie choice of a successor speedily 
evinced to the ministers the impracticability of their exercising, as 
in days of yore, that “ absolute power over their country and 

demanded, with no slight degree of pertinacity, the cession of the Jeipoor 
and Boondi tributes ; and one of them, speaking of the fornaer, stated, that 
he no doubt would continue to enjoy the friendship of the English, as ho 
had disgraced himself to please that nation, by giving up Vizier AUi (who 
had sought his protection) to their vengeance. The vakeel was severely 
rebuked by the agent (Colonel, now Sir John Malcolm) for this insolent 
reflection on the conduct of an ally of the British Government, who had 
delivered up a murderer whom it would have been mfamy to shelter ” ; 
though the author of the Political History of India might have added — but 
whom it was still greater infamy, according to their code, to surrender. 
See Malcolm’s Political History of India, p. 432. 

^ See Article G of the Treaty, Appendix, No. V. 

VOI,. Ill 1 



3370 


ANNALS OF AAfBER OR JAJPUR 

dependants,” guaranteed to them by the treaty.' Our oHiee of 
arbitrating the differences between the Raja and [380] iiis vassals 
on the subject of tlie usurpalions from the crown-Jand.s, wa.s easy, 
and left no unpleasant feeling ; but when we intermeddled with ^ _ , 
the intrigues respecting the succession, our ignorance of estab- 
lished rights and usage rendered the interference offensive, and 
made the Jaipur chiefs repent the alliance which temporary policy 
had induced their prince to accept. 

Law of Succession in Rajputana. — It may be of use in future 
negotiations, to explain the usages which govern the different 
States of Rajputana in respect to succession. The law of primo- 
geniture prevails in all Rajput sovereignties ; the rare instances 
in which it has been set aside, are only exceptions to the nile. 

The inconclusive dicta of Manu, on this as on many other points, , ^ 
are never appealed to by the Rajputs of modern days.® Custom 
and precedent fix the right of succession, whether to the gaddi 
of the State, or to a fief, in the eldest son, who is st 5 ded Rajkumar, 
Patkumar, or simply Kumarji, ‘ the prince ’ ; while his brothers 
have their proper names affixed, as Kumar Jawan Singh, ‘ Prince 
Jawan.’ “ Seniority is, in fact, a distinction pervading all ranks 
of life, whether in royal families or those of chieftains ; all have 
their Patkumar, and Patrani, or ‘ head child,’ and ‘ head queen.’ 

The privileges of the Patrani are very considerable. In minori- 
ties, she is the guardian, by custom as well as nature, of her child ; 
and in Mewar (the oldest sovereignty in India), she is publicly 
enthroned with the Rana. Seniority in marriage bestows the 
title of Patrani, but as soon as an heir is given to the State, the ' ^ 
queen-mother assumes this title, ^or that of Maji, simply ‘ the 
mother.’ ® In the duties of guardian, she is assisted by the chiefs 
of certain families, who with certain officers of the household 
enjoy this as an established hereditary distinction. 

On the demise of a prince without lawful issue of his body, or 
that of near kindred, brothers or cousins, there are certain families 
in every principality (raj) of Rajwara, in whom is vested the 

® See Article 8 of the Treaty. 

^ [Laws, ix. 105 S. On the general question see Baden-PowelJ, The 
Indian Village Community, 305 f.] , •. 

® In Mewar, simply Maji ; at Jaipur, where they have long used t he 
language and manners of Delhi, they affix the Perc'i.qn word Sahibah, or 
‘ lady mother.’ 


LAW OF SUCCESSION IN RAJPUTANA 1371 

right of presumptive heirship to the gaddi. In order to restrict 
the circle of claimants, laws have been established in every State 
limiting this right to the issue of a certain family in each prin- 
cipality. Thus, in Mewar, the elder of the Ranawat clans, styled 
Babas, or ‘ the infants,’ possesses the latent right of heir-pre- 
sumptive. In Marwar, the independent house of Idar, of the 
family of Jodha ; in Bundi, the house of Dagari,’ in Kotah, the 
Apjis of Pulaitha®; in Bikaner, the family of [381] Mahajan*; 
and in Jaipur, the branch Rajawat (according to seniority) of 
the stock of Raja Man. Even in this stock there is a distinc- 
tion between those prior, and those posterior, to Raja Madho 
Singh ; the former are styled simply Rajawat, or occasionally 
conjoined, Mansinghgot ; the other Madhani. The Rajawats 
constitute a numerous frerage, of which the Jhalai house takes 
the lead ; and in which, provided there are no mental or 
physical disabilities, the right of furnishing heirs to the gaddi 
of Jaipur is a long-established, incontrovertible, and inalienable 
privilege. 

We have been thus minute, because, notwithstanding the 
expressed wish of the government not to prejudge the question, 
the first exercise of its authority as lord-paramount was to justify 
a proceeding by which these established usages were infringed, 
in spite of the eighth article of the treaty : “ The Maharaja and 
his heirs and successors shall remain absolute rulers of their 
country and dependants according to long-established usage,” 
etc. “ CPest le premier pas qui coute ” ; and this first step, being 
V a wrong one, has involved an interference never contemplated, 

; and fully justifying that warfciess on the part of Jaipur, whiel|g^ 

J made her hesitate to link her destiny with ours, 

I Both the sixth and seventh articles contain the seeds of dis- 

I union, whenever it might suit the chicanery or bad faith of the 
protected, or the avarice of the protector. The former has already 
been called into operation, and the ‘ absolute rulers ’ of Jaipur 
have been compelled to unfold to the resident Agent the whole 
of their financial and territorial arrangements, to prove that the 
revenues did not exceed the sum of forty lakhs, as, of the sum 

^ [Dagari or Dugari, about 20 miles N. of Bundi city, with a picturesque 
palace (Bajpaiana Gazetteer, 1879, i. 216.] 

; * [A short distance S. of Kotah city.] 

• [Mahajan, about 50 miles N.N.W. of Bikaner city.] 



1372 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 

in excess (besides tlie stipulated tributary fifth), our share was 
to be three-sixteenths.^ 

While, therefore, we deem ourselves justified in interfering 
in the two chief branches of government, the succession and 
finances, how is it possible to avoid being implicated in the acts 
of the government-functionaries, and involved in the party views 
and intrigues of a court, stigmatised even by the rest of Rajwara 
with the epithet of jhutha darbar, the ‘ lying court ’ ? While there 
is a resident Agent at Jaipur, whatever [382] his resolves, he will 
find it next to impossible to keep aloof from the vortex of intrigue. 
The purest intentions, the highest talents, will scarcely avail to 
counteract this systematic vice, and with one party at least, but 
eventually with all, the reputation of his government will be 
compromised. 

This brings us back to tbe topic which suggested these remarks, 
the installation of a youth upon the gufWi of Jaipiir. W^e shall 
expose the operation of this transaction by a literal translation 
of an authentic document, every word of which was thoroughly 
substantiated. As it presents a curious picture of manners, and is 
valuable as a precedent, we shall give it entire in the Appendix, and 
shall here enter no further into details than is necessary to unravel 
the intrigue which violated the established laws of succession. 

The Installation of Mohan Singh. — The youth, named Mohan 
Singh, who was installed on the gaddi of Jaipur, on the morning 
succeeding Jagat Singh’s decease, was the son of Manohar Singh, 

* Mewar was subjected to the same premium on her reviving prosperity. 
The Author unsuccessfully endeavoured to have a limit fixed to the demand ; 
but he has heard with joy that some important modifications have since been 
made in these tributary engagements both with Mewar and Amber : they 
cannot be made too light. Discontent in Rajputana will not be appeased 
by a few lakhs of extra expenditure. I gave my opinions fearlessly when 
I had everything at stake ; I wiU not suppress them now, when I have 
nothing either to hope or to fear but for the perpetuity of the British power 
in these regions, and the revival of the happiness and independence of those 
who have sought our protection. He will prove the greatest enemy to his 
country, who, in ignorance of the true position of the Rajputs, may aim at 
further trenching upon their independence. Read the thirty years’ war 
between Aurangzeb and the Rathors ! where is the dynasty of their tyrant ? 
Look at the map : a desert at their back, the Aravalli in front ; no enemies 
to harass or disturb them ! How' different would a Rajput foe prove from 
a contemptible Mahratta, or the mercenary array of traitorous Nawabs, 
whom we have alwav's found easy conquests ! Cherish the native army : 
conciliate the Rajputs ; then, laugh at foes ! 


THE INSTALLATION OF MOHAN SINGH 


1373 


the ex-Raja of Narwar, who was chased from his tfirone aud 
country by Sindhia. We have stated that the Jaipur family 
sprung from tliat of Narwar eight centuries ago ; but the parent 
State being left without direct lineage, they applied to Amber 
and adopted a son of Prithiraj I., from whom the boy now brought 
forward was fourteen generations in descent. This course of 
proceeding was m direct contravention of usage, which had fixed, 
as already stated, the heirs-presimiptive, on failure of lineal issue 
to the gaddi of Amber, in the descendants of Raja Man, and the 
branch Madliani, generally styled Rajawat, of whom the first 
claimant was the chief of Jhalai,* and supposing liis iucoinpetency, 
Kama, and a dozen other houses of the ‘ infantas ’ of Jaipur. 

The causes of departure from the recognized rule, in this 
respect, were the following. At the death of Jagat Singh, the 
reins of power were, aud had been tor some time, in the hands 
of the chief eunuch of the rawala (seraglio), whose name was 
Mohan Nazir,® a man of considerable vigour of miderstanding, 
and not without the reputation of good intention in his adminis- 
tration of atfairs, although the .system of chicanery and force,® 
by which he attempted to carry his object, savoured more of 
self-interest than of loyalty. The youth was but nine years of 
age ; and a long minority, with the exclusive possession of power, 
suggests the true motives of the Nazir. His principal coadjutor, 
amongst the great vassals of the State, was Megh Singh of Diggi,* 
a cliief who [383J had contrived by fraud and force to double 
his hereditary fief by usurpations from the crown-lands, to retain 
which he supported the views of the Nazir with all the influence 
of his clan (the Kliangarot), the most powerful of the twelve 
great families of Amber.® The personal servants of the crown, 

® [Jhalai, about 42 miles S.S.W. of Jaipur city.] 

® Nazir is the official name, a Muhammadan one, denoting his capacity, 
as emasculated guardian of the seraglio. Jaipur and Bundi are the only 
two of the Rajput principalities who, adopting the Muslim custom, have con- 
taminated the palaces of their queens with the presence of these creatures. 

® See “ Summary of Transactions,” Appendix, No. Y. [The Author 
omitted to print this paper owing to its length.] 

® [Forty miles S.S.W. of Jaipur city.] 

® The Khangarot clan enumerates twenty-two fiefs, whose united rent-rolls 
amount to 402,800 rupees annually, and their united quotas for the service 
of the State, six hundred and forty-three horse. Megh Singh, by his tur- 
bulence and intelhgence, though only the sixth or seventh in the scale of rank 
; ol this body, had taken the lead, and become the organ of his clan at court. 


13T4, 


ANNALS OK ^UIBER OK JAIPUR 


such as the Purohits, Dhabhais (domestic chaplains and foster- 
brothers), and all the subordinate officers of the household, con- 
sidered the Nazir’s cause as their own : a minority and his favour 
guaranteed their places, which might be risked by the election of a 
prince who could judge for himself, and had friends to provide for. 

Objections raised by the Government of India. — A reference to 
the “ Summary of Transactions ” (in the Appendix) will show 
there was no previous considtation or concert amongst the 
military vassals, or the queens ; on the contrary, acting entirely 
on his own responsibility, the Nazir, on the morning succeeding 
the death of his master, placed young JMohan in ‘ the car of the 
sun,’ to lead the funeral procession, and light the pjTe of his 
adopted sire. Scarcely were the ablutions and necessary purifica- 
tions from this rite concluded, when he received the congratulations 
of all present as lord of the Kachhwahas, under the revived name 
of Man Singh the Second. The transactions which followed, as 
related in the diary, until the final denouement, distinctly show, 
that having committed himself, the Nazir was anxious to obtain 
through the resident agents of the chieftains at court, their 
acquiescence in the measure under their signs-manual. It will 
be seen that the communications were received and replied to in 
that cautious, yet courteous manner, which pledged the writer 
to nothing, and gained him time for the formation of a deliberate 
opinion : the decision was thus suspended ; all eyes were directed 
to the paramount power ; and the Nazir, whose first desire was 
to propitiate this, entreated the British functionary at Delhi to 
send his confidential Munshi to Jaipur without delay. This 
agent reached Jaipur from Delhi six days after the death of Jagat. 
He was the bearer of instructions, “ requiruig a full accomit of 
the reasons for placing the son of the Narwar Raja on the masnad ; 
of his family, lineage, right of succession, and by whose counsels 
the measure was adopted.” On the 11th of January this requisition 
was reiterated ; and it was further asked, whether the measure 
had the assent of the queens and chiefs, and a declaration to this 
effect, under their signatures, was required to be forwarded. 
Nothing could be more explicit, or more judicious, than the tenor 
of these instructions [384J. 

The replies of the Nazir and confidential Munshi were such, that 
on the 7th of February the receipt of letters of congratulation from 
the British Agent, accompanied by one from the supreme authority, 


OBJECTIONS BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 1375 


was formally announced, which letters being read in full court, 
“ the naubat (kettledrum) again sounded, and young Man Singh 
was conducted to the Partap Mahall, and seated on the masnad.” 
On this formal recognition by the British government, the agents 
of the chieftains at their sovereign’s court, in reply to the Nazir’s 
demand, “ to know the opinions of the chiefs,” answered that 
“ if he called them, they were ready to obey ” ; but at the same 
time they rested their adhesion on that of the chief queen, sister 
of the Raja of Jodhpur, who breathed nothing but open defiance 
of the Nazir and his Junta. Early in March, public discontent 
became more manifest : and the Rajawat chief of Jhalai deter- 
mined to appeal to arms in support of his rights as heir-pre- 
sumptive, and was soon joined by the chiefs of Sarwar and Isarda,* 
junior but powerful branches of the same stock. 

Another party seemed inclined, on this emergency, to revive 
the rights of that posthumous son of Prithi Singh, whom we 
have already described as living in exile at Gwalior, on the bounty 
of Sindhia ; and nothing but the unfavourable report of his 
intellect and debased habits prevented the elder branch of the 
sons of Madho Singh recovering their lost honours. 

While the paramount authority was thus deluded, and the 
chieftains were wavering amidst so many conflicting opinions, 
the queens continued resolute, and the Rajawats were arming — 
and the Nazir, in this dilemma, determined as a last resource, 
to make Raja Man of Jodhpur the umpire, hoping by this appeal 
to his vanity, to obtain his influence over his sister to an acquies- 
cence in the irremediable step, which had been taken “ in 
obedience (as he pretended) to the will of the deceased prince.” 
Raja Man’s reply is important ; “ That there could be no occasion 
lor his or his sister’s signature to the required declaration on the 
right of succession to the masnad of Jaipur, which depended upon, 
and was vested in, the elders of the twelve tribes of Kachhwahas ; 
that if they approved and signed the declaration, the queen his 
sister, and afterwards himself, would sign it, if requisite.” 

The Nazir and his faction, though aided by the interposition 
of the Munshi, were now in despair, and in these desperate cir- 
cumstances, he attempted to get up a marriage between the 
puppet he had enthroned and the granddaughter of the Rana of 


^ [Sarwar, 45 miles S. of Ajmer ; Isarda, 60 miles S.S.W. of Jaipur city.] 


1376 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Mewar. It was well contrived, and not ill received by the Rana ; 
but there was an influence at his court which at once extinguished 
the plot, though supported at [385] Delhi by the Rana’s most 
influential agent. It was proposed that, at the same time, the 
Rana should consummate his nuptials with the Jaipur Raja’s 
sister, the preliminaries of which had been settled a dozen years 
back. Money in abundanee was offered, and the Rana’s passion 
for pageantry and profusion would have prevented any objection 
to his proceeding to the Jaipur capital. To receive the chief of 
the universal Hindu race with due honour, the whole nobility 
of Amber would have left their estates, which would have been 


construed into, and accepted as, a voluntary acquiescence in the 
rights of the Nazir’s choice, which the marriage would have com- 
pletely cemented. Foiled in this promising design, the knot, 
which the precipitate and persevering conduct of the Nazir had 
rendered too indissoluble even for liis skill to undo, was cut by the 
annunciation of the advanced pregnancy of the Bhattiani queen. 

Birth of a Posthumous Heir. — This timely interposition of Mata 
Janami (the Juno Lucina of Rajwara) might well be regarded as 
miraculous ; and though the sequel of this event was conducted 
with such publicity as almost to choke the voice of slander, it 
still found utterance.^ It was deemed a sort of prodig}', that an 
event, wliich would have caused a jubilee throughout Dhundhar, 
should have been kept secret until three months after the Raja’s 
death.* The mysteries of the Rawalas of Rajput princes find 
their way to the public out of doors ; and in Udaipur, more 
especially, are the common topics of conversation. The ^•ariety 
of character within its walls, the like variety of communicants 
without, the conflicting interests, the diversified objects of con- 
tention of these little worlds, render it utterly impossible that 
any secret can long be maintained, far less one of such magnitude 
as the pregnancy of the queen of a prince without issue. That 
this event should be revealed to the Nazir, the superintendent of 


The pubhoity, on this occasion, is precisely of the same character as 
marked the accouchement of the Duchess de 9erri, who, it is said, not oiilv 
had the usual witnesses to silence the voice of doubt, but absolutelv insisted 
on the Marechaux as well as the Marcchales of France being in the room at 
the moment of parturition. 

'"^Na Jagat Singh died December 21, 1818. and the announcement of 
24 month of her pregnancy." was on JIarch 



BIRTH OF A POSTHUMOUS HEIR 


1377 


the queen's palace, with all the fBrmality of a new discovery, 
three months after Jagat Singh’s death, must excite surprise ; since 
to have been the bearer of such joyful intelligence to his 
{ master, to whom he was much attached, must have riveted his 
influence [386]. 

At three o’clock on the 1st of April, a council of sixteen queens, 
the widows of the late prince, and the wives of all the great vassals 
of the Slate, “ assembled to ascertain the fact of pregnancy,” 
whilst all the great barons awaited in the antechambers of the 
Zanana Deori the important response of this council of matrons. 
When it announced that the Bhattiani queen was pregnant beyond 
a doubt, they consulted until seven, when they sent in a written 
declaration, avowing their unanimous belief of the fact ; and 
• that “ should a son be born, they would acknowledge him as 
their lord, and to none else pledge allegiance.” A transcript of 
this was given to the Nazir, who was recommended to forward 
an attested copy to the British ^Vgent at Delhi. From these 
deUberations, from which there was no appeal, the Nazir was 
excluded by express desire of the Rathor queen. He made an 
ineffectual effort to obtain from the chiefs a declaration, that 
the adoption of the Narwar youth was in conformity to the desire 
of the deceased prince, their master ; but this attempt to obtain 
indemnity for his illegal acts was defeated immediately on the 
ground of its mitruth.^ 

By this lawful and energetic exertion of the powers directly 
vested in the queen-mother and the great council of the chiefs, 
the tongue of faction was rendered mute ; but had it been other- 
wise, another queen was ]3ronoimced to be in the same joyfid con- 
dition.- On the morning of the 25th of April, four months and four 
days after Jagat Singh's death, a son was ushered into the world 
with the usual demonstrations of joy, and received as the Auto- 
crat of the Kachhwahas ; while the infant interloper was removed 

1 Deeming a record of these transactions useful, not only as descriptive 
of manners, hut as a precedent, inasmuch as they show the powers and 
position of the different authorities composing a Rajput State in cases of 
succession,! have inserted it in the Appendix. [As before stated, the Author 
omitted this paper.] 

“ No notice, that I am aware of, was ever taken of this second annuncia- 
tion. [The xKJsthumous son of Jagat Singh, Jai Singh HI., who succeeded, 
i hved till 1835, durijig which period the State was a scene of raisgovemment 
’ and corruption. He was succeeded by Maharaja Ram Singh (a.d. 1835-80). 

I 



i:i78 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAll’HR 


from the g<ul(li, and tliriist l)!lck to his original obscurity, lluis 
terminated an affair which involved all Rajwara in discussion, 
and at one time threatened a very serious result. That it was 
disposed of in this manner was fortunate for all parties, and not 
least for the protecting power. 

Having thus given a connected, though imperfect, sketch of 
the history of the Jaipur State, from its foundation to the present 
time, before proceeding with any account of its resom'ces, or the 
details of its internal administration, we shall delineate the rise, 
progress, and existing condition of the Shaikhavati federation, 
which has risen out of, and almost to an equaUty with, the parent 
State [387]. 


SHAIKHAWAT FEDERATION 

CHAPTER 5 

We proceed to sketch the history of the Shaikhawat confedera- 
tion, which, springing from the redundant feodahty of Amber, 
through the influence of age and circumstances, has attained a 
power and consideration almost equalling that of the parent 
State ; and although it possesses neither written laws, a permanent 
congress, nor any visible or recognized head, subsists by a sense 
of common interest. It must not be supposed, however, that 
no system of poUcy is to be found in this confederation, because 
the springs are not always visible or in action ; the moment any 
common or individual interest is menaced, the grand council of 
the Barons of Shaikhavati assembles at Udaipur ‘ to decide the 
course of action to be pursued. 

The Origin of the Shaikhawats. — The Shaikhawat chieftains are 
descended from Balaji, the third son of Raja Udaikaran, who 
succeeded to the throne of Amber in S. 1-145, a.d. 1389. At this 
period, if we look back to the political state of society, we find 
that nearly the whole of the tracts, wliich now obey the Shaik- 

His adopted sou, Kaiiu Singh, succeeded under the title of Sawii Madho 
Singh II., and has administered the State with conspicuous ability.] 

1 [This Udaipur must not be confounded with the capital of Jlewar : it 
is about 60 miles N. of Jaipur city.] 


THE ORIGIN OF THE SHAIKHAWATS 


1379 


lavali federation, were parcelled ou^ainongst numerous chieftains 
f the Cliauhan or Tuar tribes,*^ the descendants of the ancient 

^ The lovers of antiiiuity have only to make the search to find an abundant 
harvest, throughout all these countries, of ancient capitals and cities, whose 
■ names are hardly known even to the modem inhabitants. Of the ancient 
Ilajor I have already spoken, and I now draw the attention of my country- 
men to Abhaner, which boasts a very remote antiquity ; and from an old 
stanza, we might imagine that its princes were connected with the Kaian 
dynasty of Persia. I copied it, some twenty years ago, from an itinerant 
bard, who had an imperfect knowledge of it himself, and 1 have doubtless 
made it more so, but it is still sufficiently intelligible to point at a remarkable 
coincidence : 

Eajd Chand-kd Abhaner 

Biahah Sanjog, dyo Oirnar. 

Dekh Bharat liyo buldi. 

Kiyo bidit, man bikasdi. 

Bydo Sanjog, Barmaid bari. 

Kos sdlh-so man chit dhari ; 

“ Til beti Kaikum hi, 

Ndm Barmaid * ho. 

Lekhd hud Kartdr ko. 

Yd jdna sabb ko” ^ [388] 

[For the above version of the corrupt lines in the original, the Editor is 
indebted to Sir G. Grierson, who remarks that the meaning is not clear, and 
that in the original more than one dialect is used. He offers the following 
tentative translation : “ Sanjog [dwelt] in the midst of Abhaner of Raja 
Chand. He came to Girnar. When Bharat saw him he summoned him. 
He [Sanjog] made known [his object], and his [Bharat’s] heart expanded. 
Sanjog. married, he chose Parmala for his bride. From a distance of sixty 
kos his heart and mind had attracted her. [He said to her] ‘ Thou art the 
_ daughter of Kaikum. Thy name is Parmala [i.e. “ fairy garland ”]. It was 
the writing of the Creator [i.e. “ it was so fated ”], this every one knew.’ ” 
There is no reason to suppose that the lady was a Persian.] 

_ This is a fragment of a long poem relative to the rivalry of Raja Chand of 
Abhaner, and Raja Sursen of Indrapuri, who was betrothed to Parmala, 
daughter of Kaikum, and had gone to Gimer, or Gimar, to espouse her, 
, when the Abhaner prince abducted her. Baja Sursen of Indrapuri (Delhi), 
if the ancestor of the Suraseni, and founder of Surpuri, existed probably 
' 5 twelve hundred years before Christ. That sun-worshippers had established 
themselves in the peninsula of Saurashtra (whose capital was Junagarh- 
[ Girnar), its appellation, in the days of the Greeks of Bactria, as now, proves 
(see Strabo, Justin, etc.), but whether Kaikum, the father of Parmala, is 
the Kaiomurs of Firdausi, we shall not stop to inquire. The connexion 
betw'een this peninsula and Persia was intimate in later times, so as even to 
give rise to the assertion that the Ranas of Mewar were descended from the 
tSassanian kings. It was my good fortune to discover Surpuri, on the 
; Jumna, the residence of the rival of Chand o'f Abhaner, which city I leave 


1 Bari-mdld means ‘ fairy garland.’ 



1380 


ANXALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Hindu emperors of Delhi, who evinced no more submission than 
the sword and their Islamite successors exacted from them. 

Ralaji, who was the actual founder of the numerous families 
now designated by the more distinguished name of Shaikhji, his 
grandson, obtained as an appanage the district of Amritsar/ but 
whether by his own prowess or by other means, is not mentioned, 
lie had three sons : Mokalji, Khemraj, and Kharad. The first 
succeeded to the patrimony of Amritsar ; the second had a numer- 
ous issue styled Balapota, one of whom was adopted into the 
twelve chambers (barahkolhri) of Kachhwahas. The third had 
a son called Kaman, whose descendants were styled Kainawat, 
but are now early extinct. 

Shaikhji. — Mokal had a son who was named Shaikhji, in com- 
pliment to a miracle-working Islamite saint, to whose prayers 
the childless chief was indebted for a son destined to be the patri- 
arch of a numerous race, occupying, under the term Shaikhawat, 
an important [389] portion of the surface of Rajputana. Shaikh 
Burhan was the name of this saint, whose shrine (still existing) 
was about si.x miles from Achrol, and fourteen from the residence 
of Mokal. As the period of time was shortly after Timur's in- 
vasion, it is not unlikely he was a pious missionary, who remained 
behind for the conversion of the warlike but tolerant Rajput, 

to some one imbued with similar taste to visit, and merely add, he will find 
there an inscription in a kund or fountain dedicated to the Sun. The dis- 
tance, however, seven hundred coss (kos sath so), whether from Indrapuri or 
Abhaner, to Gimar, even admitting them to be gao coss, would be too much. 
I believe this would make it eight hundred miles, and certain]}-, as the crow 
flies, it is not seven hundred. Interwoven with the story there is much 
about Baja Chambha, prince of Jajnagar, a city of great antiquity in Orissa, 
and contahimg some of the finest specimens of sculpture I ever saw. There 
is also mention of a Raja Saer (gu. Sahir or Siharas of Aror) of Parman. In 
1804, I passed through Jajnagar, after the conquest of the province of 
Cuttack, with my regiment. At Jajnagar, my earliest friend, the late 
Captain BeUet Sealy, employed his pencil for several days w-ith the sculp- 
tured remains. These drawings were sent to the authorities at Calcutta : 
perhaps this notice may rescue from oblivion the remains of Jajnagar, and 
of my deceased friend’s talent, for Captahi Bellet Sealy was an ornament 
equally to private life and to his profession. He fell a victim to the fever 
contracted in the Nepal war. The ruins of Abhaner are on the Banganga, 
three coss east of Lalsont. [The speculations in this note are of no value. 
For the town of Jajpur in Cuttack, see a full account by Sir W. Hunter, 
Orissa, i. 2ti5 f. ; I6I, xiv. 10 f.] 

^ [About 15 miles N.E. of Jaipur city.] 


SHAIKHJI 


1381 


with whom, even if lie should fail in his purpose, he was certain 
of protection and hospitality. The Shaikh in one of his peregrina- 
tions had reached the confines of Amritsar, and was passing over 
■, an extensive meadow, in which was Mokalji. The Mangta 
% (mendicant) approached with the usual salutation, “ Have you 
ii anything for me ? ” “ Whatever you please to have, Babaji 

' (sire),” was the courteous reply. The request was limited to a 
draught of milk, and if our faith were equal to the Shaikhawat’s, 
we should believe that Shaikh Burhan drew a copious .stream 
from the exhausted udder of a female buffalo. This was sufficient 
to convince the old chief that the Shaikh could work other miracles; 
and he prayed that, through his means, he might no longer be 
childless. In due time he had an heir, who, according to the in- 
junctions of Burhan, was styled, after his own tribe, Shaikh. 

■ He directed that he should wear the baddhiya,' which, when laid 
aside, was to be suspended at the saint’s dargah ; and further, 

■ that he should assume the blue tunic and cap, abstain from hog’s 
flesh, and eat no meat “ in which the blood remained.” He also 
ordained that at the birth of every Shaikhawat male infant a goat 
should be sacrificed, the Kalima (Islamite creed) read, and the 
child sprinkled with the blood. Although four centuries have 
i passed away since these obligations were contracted by IMokal. 

' they are still religiously maintained by the little nation of his 
descendants, occupying a space of ten thousand square miles. 

■ The wild hog, which, according to immemorial usage, should be 
eaten once a year by every Rajput, is rarely even hunted by a 

\ Shaikhawat ; and though they have relaxed in that ordinance, 
1 which commanded the suspension of the baddhiyas at the shrine 
■of Burhan. still each infant w-ears them, as well as the blue tunic 
Band cap, for two years after his birth ; and a still greater mark 
,^pf respect to the memory of the saint is evinced in the blue pennon 
^ -which surmounts the yellow banner, or national flag, of the 
S'- ' T' ■ • even gravely asserted that those who, from 

i: ■ , , or less justifiable motives, have neglected 

the least important injunction, that of depositing the initiatory 
• strings or baddhiyas, have never prospered. But a still stronger 
' proof is furnished of the credulity, the toleration, and yet [390] 

' Strings, or threads, worn crossways by Muhammadan children. [See 
perklots, Qanoon-e- Islam, l.W. 1.5S,] 


13S2 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPtTR 


immutability of the Rajput character, in the fact, that, although 
Amritsar,^ and the lands around the dargah, are annexed to 
the fisc of Amber, yet the shrine of Shaikh Burhan continues a 
saran (sanctuary), while lands are assigned to almost a hundred 
families, the descendants of the saint, who reside in the adjacent 
town of Tala, 

Shaikhji. when he attained man’s estate, greatly augmenled 
the territory left by his father, and had consolidated three hundred 
and sixty villages under his sway, by conquest from his neigh- 
bours, when his reputation and power attracted the jealous 
notice of the lord paramount of Amber, He was attacked ; but 
by the aid of the Panni Pathans * he successfully withstood the 
reiterated assaults of his suzerain. Up to this period, they had 
acknowledged the Amber princes as liege lords, and in token oL-, . . 
alUanee paid as tribute all the colts reared on the original estate,^ 

A dispute on this point was the ostensible cause (though subordin- 
ate to their rapid prosperity), which occasioned a total separation 
of the Shaikhawat colonies from the parent State, until the reign 
of Sawai Jai Singh who, with his means as lieutenant of the empire, 
compelled homage, submission, and pecuniary relief from them. 
Shaikhji left a well-established authority to his son, Raemall, of I 
whom nothing is recorded. Raemall was followed by Suja, who 
had three sons, namely, Nunkaran, Raesal, and Gopal. The 
elder succeeded to the patrimony of Amritsar and its three 
hundred and sixty townships, while to his brothers, the fiefs of 

^ The town of Amritsar and forty-five villages are stiU left to the Manohar- 
pur branch. 

^ The Pannis are a tribe of Duranis, regarding whom Mr. Elphinstone’,'! 
account of Kabul may be consulted. In after times, there was a chieftain of 
this tribe so celebrated for his generosity and hospitality, that his name has 
become proverbial : 

Bane, to bane 

Nahin, Baud Khan Panni ; ' 

that is, if they failed elsewhere, there was always Daud Khan in reserve. 

His gallant bearing, and death in Famikhsiyar’s reign, are related in Scott’s 
excellent History of the Dekhan. [Ed. 1794, ii. 140 ff. The Panni are a 
sept of the Kakar or Ghurghusthi Pathans ; see Rose, Glossary, iii. 198, 223.] 

® This will recall to the reader’s recollection a similar custom in the 
ancient Persian empire, where the tribute of the distant Satrapies was of 
the same kind. Armenia, according to Herodotus, alone gave an annual 
tribute of twenty thousand colts. [The statement is made by Strabo 
p. 529.] 



SHAIKIIJI 


1383 


brotlier, Raesal, the fortunes of the Shaikhawats made a rapid 
^ stride, from an occurrence in which the Rajput appears in the 
i. position we desire to see liim occupy. 

Nunkaran, the chief of the Sliaikliawats, had a minister named 
Devidas, of the Bania or mercantile caste, and, like thousands of 
that caste, energetie, shrewd, and intelligent. He one day held 
an argument with his lord (which the result proves he maintained 
with independence), that “ genius with good fortune was the 
first gift of heaven, and to be far more prized than a man’s mere 
inheritanee.” Nimkaran warmly disputed the point, which 
ended by his telling the minister he might go to Lambi [391] and 
make experiment of the truth of his argument on his brother 
Raesal. Devidas lost no time, on this polite dismissal from his 
2 . office, in proceeding with his family and property to Lambi. He 
was received with the usual hospitality ; but soon discovered that 
j Raesal’s means were too confined to bear an additional burden, 
and that the field was too restricted to enable him to demonstrate 
the truth of the argument which lost him his place. He made 
i known his determination to proceed to the imperial city, and 
■■ advised Raesal to accompany him, and try his luck at court. 
, Raesal, who was vaUant and not without ambition, could only 
equip twenty horse, with which he arrived at Delhi just as an 
army was forming to oppose one of those Afghan invasions, so 
common at that period. In the action which ensued, Raesal had 
M the good fortune to distinguish himself by cutting down a leader 
of the enemy, in the presence of the imperial general, which had 
a decided influence on the event of the day. Inquiries were 
made for the brave unknown, who had performed this heroic 
deed ; but as, for reasons which will be perceived, he kept aloof 
from the quarters of his countrymen, the argument of Devidas 
would never have been illustrated, had not the imperial commander 
determined to seek out and reward merit. He ordered a grand 
ziyafat, or ‘ entertainment ’ to be prepared for the chiefs of every 
grade in the army, who were commanded afterwards to pay their 
respects to the general. As soon as Raesal appeared, he was 
r recognized as the individual of whom they were in search. His 
name and family being disclosed, his brother, Nimkaran, who 


* [JharU is about 40 miles N. of Jaipur city.] 


1381. 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


was serving with his quota, was called, whose anger was per- 
emptorily expressed at his presuming to appear at court without 
his permission ; but this ebullition of jealousy was of little avail. 
Raesal was at once introduced to the great Akbar, who bestowed 
upon him the title of Raesal Darbari,'^ and a more substantial 
mark of royal favour, in a grant of the districts of Rewasa and 
Khasali, then belonging to the Chandela Rajputs. This was but 
the opening of Raesal’s career, for scarcely had he settled hi.s 
new possessions, when he was reealled to court to take part in 
an expedition against Bhatner. Fresh services obtained new 
favours, and he received a grant of Khandela and LMaipur, then 
belonging to the Nirwan Rajputs, who disdained to pay allegiance 
to the empire, and gave themselves up to unlicensed rapine. 

Khandela, the Shaikhawat Capital. — Raesal, finding it would 
he a work of difficulty to expel the brave Nirwans from [392] their 
ancient bapoia (patrimony), bad recourse to stratagem to effect 
his object. Previous to the expedition to Bhatner, Raesal had 
espoused the daughter of the chief of Khandela, and it is related 
that a casual expression, dropped on that occasion, suggested his. 
desire to obtain it for himself. Being dissatisfied with the dower 
(daeja) given with his bride, he, with no commendable taste, 
pertinaciously insisted upon an increase ; Upon which the Nirwan 
chief, losing patience, hastily replied, “ We have nothing else to 
give, unless you take the stones of the hill.” The attendant 
Saguni (augur), immediately turning to Raesal, said, in an 
undertone, “ Tie a knot on the skirt of your garment in remem- 
brance of this.” An expression like this from a prophetic tongue 
gave birth to the wish to be lord of Khandela ; while his services 
to the king, and the imbecility of its Nirw'an possessor, conspired 
to fulfil it. Watching his opportunity, he marched against the 
place, and being in all probability supported by his liege lord, 
it was abandoned without defence, and the inhabitants tendered 
their submission to him. Henceforth, Khandela wms esteemed 

^ It is always agreeable to find the truth of these simple annals corrobor- 
ated in the historical remains of the conquerors of the Rajputs. The name 
of Raesal Darbari will be found, in the Ain-i-Akbari, amongst the man- 
sabdars of twelve hundred and fifty horse ; a rank of high importance, being 
equivalent to that conferred on the sons of potent Rajas. [In Ain (i. 4t9) 
he is called Rae Sal Darbari, son of Eaemall, Shaikhawat. The Author 
represents him to be sou of Suja. and apparently grandson of Raemall. He 
is mentioned in the Akliarmma (trails. H. Beveiidee ii. 390).] 



RA0SAL DARBARI, SHAIKHAWAT 


1385 


the principal city of the Shaikhawat confederation ; and the 
descendants of Raesal, usin'; his name as a patronymic, are styled 
Raesalot, occupying all southern ShaikhaVati ; while another 
branch of later origin, called Sadhani, holds the northern tracts. 
Immediately after the occupation of Khandela, Raesal obtained 
possession of Udaipur, formerly called Kausambi, also belonging 
to the Nirwans.* 

‘Raesal accompanied his proper liege lord, the great Raja Man 
of Amber, against the heroic Rana Partap of Mewar. He was 
also in the expedition to Kabul, against the Afghans of Kohistan. 
in all of which enterprises he obtained fresh distinctions. Regard- 
ing his death, there is no record ; ® but his history is another 
illustration of the Rajput character, whilst it confirms the position 
of the Bania, that “ genius and good fortune arc far superior to 
inheritance.” 

Raesal, at his death, had a compact and well-managed territory, 
out of which he assigned appanages to his seven sons, from whom 
are descended the various families, who, with relative distinctive 
patronymics, Bhojansi Sadhanis, Larkhanis, Tajkhanis, Parasu- 
rampotas, Harrampotas, are recognized throughout Rajwara by 
the generic name of Shaikhawat [393]. 


1. Girdhar . 

2. Larkhan 

3. Bhojraj . 

4. Tirmall Rao 

5. Parasuram 

6. Harramji 

7. Tajkhan 


Had Khandela and Rewasa. 

„ Kachriawas. 

,, Udaipur. 

„ Kasli and eighty-fotir villages. 
,, Bai. 

„ Mundari. 

„ No appanage. 


We shall not break the thread of the narrative of the elder 
branch of Khandela, “ chief of the sons of Shaikhji,” to 
treat of the junior line, though the issue of Bhojraj have 


' The Nirwan is a saJcfia, or ramification of the Chauhan race. They had 
long held possession of these regions, of which Kes, or Kausambi, now 
Udaipur, was the capital, the city where the grand council of the confedera- 
tion always meets on great occasions. This may throw light on the Kau- 
sambi mentioned on the triumphal pillar at Delhi ; the Nirwan capital is 
more likely to -be the town alluded to than Kausambi on the Ganges. 
[The inscription refers to the city in the United Provinces, of which the site 
is uncertain (V. A. Smith, JRAS, 1898, p. 503).] **’ 

= [He died, at an advanced age, in the Deccan {Ain, i. 419).] 

VOL. Ill 


K 


1386 ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 

eclipsed, botli in population and property, the senior descendants 
of Raesal. 

Girdharji Shaikhawat. — Girdharji succeeded to the prowess, 
the energy, and the estates of his father, and for a gallant action 
obtained from the emperor the title of Raja of Khandela. At 
this period, the empire was in a most disordered state, and the 
mountainous region, called Mewat, was inhabited by a daring 
and ferocious banditti, called Meos, who pillaged in gangs even 
to the gates of the capital. The task of taking, dead or alive, 
the leader of this banditti, was assigned to the chief of Khandela, 
who performed it with signal gallantry and success. Aware ,that, 
by the display of superior force, his enemy would remain in his 
lurking places, Girdhar put himself on terms of equality with his 
foe,' and with a small but .select band hunted the Mewati leader 
down, and in the end slew him in single combat. The career of 
Girdhar, short as it was brilliant, was terminated by assassina- 
tion, while bathing in the Jumna. The anecdote is descriptive 
of the difference of manners between the rustic Rajput and the 
debauched retainer of the court. 

Assassination of Girdharji. — One of the Khandela chiefs men 
was waiting, in a blacksmith’s shop, while his sword was repaired 
and sharpened. A Muslim, passing b3% thought he might have 
his jest with the unpolished Rajput, anR after asking some 
impertinent questions, and laugliing at the unintelligible replies 
in the Bhakha of Rajwara, slipped a heated cinder in the turban 
of the soldier : the insult was borne with great coolness, wliich 
increased the mirth of the Musalman, and at length the turban 
took Are. The sword was then ready, and the Thakur, after 
feeling the edge, with one blow laid the jester's head at his feet. 
He belonged to one of the chief nobles of the court, who im- 
mediatelj^ led his retainers to the Khandela chiefs quarters, 
and thence to where he was performing his religious ablutions in 
the Jumna, and whilst engaged in which act, unarmed and almost 
unattended, baselj' murdered him. Girdhar left several children 
[394]. 

Dw^kad^. — Dwarkadas, his eldest son, succeeded, and soon 
after his accession nearly fell a victim to the jealousy of the Mano- 
harpur cliief, the representative of the elder branch of the family, 
being the lineal descendant of Nunkaran. The emperor had 
caught a lion in the toils, and gave out a grand hunt, when the 


DWARKADAS : BiRSINGHDEO 


1387 


Manoharpur chief observed that Iiis relative, the Raesalot, who 
was a votary of Naharsingh,* was the proper person to engage 
the king of the forest. Dwarkadas saw through his relative’s 
treachery, but cheerfully accepted the proposal. Having bathed 
and prayed, to the astonishment of the king and court, he entered 
the arena unarmed, with a brazen platter containing the various 
articles used in pnja (worship), as grains of rice, curds, and sandal 
ointment, and going directly up to the monster, made the (itak 
on his forehead, put a chaplet round his neck, and prostrated 
himself in the usual attitude of adoration before the lion ; when, 
to the amazement of the spectators, the noble beast came gently 
up, and with his tongue repeatedly licked his face, permitting him 
to retire without the least indication of anger. The emperor, 
who concluded that his subject must “ wear a charmed life.” 
desired the Khandela chief to make any request, with the 
assurance of compliance ; when he received a delicate reproof, 
in the desire ” that his majesty would never place another 
person in the same predicament from which he had happily 
escaped.” 

Dwarkadas was slain by the greatest hero of the age in which 
he lived, the celebrated Khan Jahan Lodi,* who, according to 
the legends of the Sllaikhawats, also fell by the hand of their 
lord ; and they throw an air of romance upon the transaction, 
which would grace the annals of chivalry in any age or country. 
Klian Jahan and the chieftain of Khandela were sworn friends, 
and when nothing but the life of the gallant Lodi would -satisfy 
the king, Dwarka gave timely notice to his friend of the hateful 
task imposed upon him, advising either submission or flight. 
His fate, which forms one of the most interesting episodes in 
Ferishta's history,* involved that of the Shaikhawat chief. 

Blrsinghdeo. — ^He was succeeded by his son, Birsinghdeo, who 
served with his contingent in the conquest of the Deccan, and 
was made governor of Pamala, which he had materially assisted 

[Naraslnha, the man-lion incarnation of Vishnu.] 

* [Khto Jahan Lodi, an Afghan, commanded in the Deccan under Prince 
Parvez. In 1628, suspected of disloyalty, he took refuge in Baglan, the head- 
men of which place refused to surrender him. But he was obliged to fly 
and, with his son, was killed by the royal troops on January 28, 1631 (Beale, 
Diet. Oriental Biography, s.v. ; BG, i. Part ii. 624 f. ; EUiot-Dowson vii. 
20 ff.).] 

* [Not in Ferishta. but in Dow’s continuation (ed. 1812, iii. 112 ff.).] 



1388 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


in reducing.* The Khandela annalist is desirous to make it 
appear that his serA-ice was independent of his liege lord of Amber ; 
hut the probability is that he was under the immediate command 
of the Mirza Raja Jai Singh, at that period the most distinguished 
general of his nation or of the court. 

Birsinghdeo had seven sons, of whom the heir-apparent, 
Bahadur Singh, remained at [.395j Kliandela ; while estates were 
assigned to his brothers, namely, Amar Singh, Shyam Singh, 
Jagdeo, Bhopal Singh, Mukri Singh, and Pern Singh, who all 
increased the stock of Raesalots. While the Raja was performing 
his duties in the Deccan, intelligence reached him that his son at 
home had usurped his title and authority : iipon which, with 
only four horsemen, he left the army for his capital. When 
within two coss of Khandela, he alighted at the house of a .Tatni, 
of whom he requested refreshment, and begged especial care of 
his wearied steed, lest he should be stolen ; to which she sharply 
replied, “ Is not Bahadur Singh ruler here ? You may leave gold 
in the highway, and no one dare touch it.” The old chieftain 
was so delighted with this testimony to his son’s discharge of a 
prince’s duties, that, without disclosing himself or his suspicions, 
he immediately returned to the Deccan, where he died. 

Bahadur Singh. — Bahadur Singh succeeded, and on his father’s 
death repaired to the armies in the south, commanded by 
Aurangzeb in })erson. Being insulted by a Muslim chief bearing 
the same name with himself, and obtaining no redress from the 
bigoted prince, he left the army in disgust, upon which his name 
was erased from the list of mansabdars. It was at this time the 
tyrant issued his mandate for the capitation-tax on all his Hindu 
subjects, and for the destruction of their temples.® 

* [Parnala or Panhala in the Kolhapur District, taken in 1701 (Alanucci 
iii. 257 ; BO, xxiv. 314.] 

® The numerous ruined shrines and mutilated statues in every town and 
village, still attest the zeal with which the bigot’s orders were obeyed ; nor 
is there an image of any antiquity with an entire set of features (except 
in spots impervious to his myrmidons), from Lahore to Cape Comorin. 
Omkarji, whose temple is on a small island of the Nerbudda. alone, it is said, 
supported his dignity in the indiscriminate attack on the deities of Hind. 
“ If they are gods (said the tyrannical but witty iconoclast), let them evince 
their power, and by some miracle resist my commands.” Omkarji received 
the first blow on his head, as it imbued with mortal feeling, for the blood 
gushed from his nose and mouth, which prevented a repetition of the injury ! 
This sensibility, though without the power of avenging himself, made 



GALLANTRY OF SHUJAVVAN SINGH 


1389 


Grallantry of Shujawan Singh.^ — ^To the personal enemy of the 
Shaikliawat was intrusted the twofold duty of exacting tribute, 
and the demolition of the temple, the ornament of Kliandela, 
whose chief, degrading tlie name of Bahadur (warrior), abandoned 
liis capital ; and the royal army had arrived within two coss 
without the appearance of opposition. The news spread over 
the lands of the confederacy, that Bahadur had fled from Khandela, 
and that the Turk was bent on the destruction of its slirines. It 
reached the ear of Shujawan Singh, the chieftain of Chapauli, a 
descendant of Bhojraj, the second son of Kaesal. Imbued with 
all tlie spirit of this hero, the brave Bhojani resolved to devote 
liiinself to the protection of the temple, or perish in its defence. 
At the moment the tidings reached liim, he was solemnizing 
his nuptials 'on the Marwar frontier. Hastening home with his 
bride, he left her with his mother, and bade both a solemn [396J 
farewell. In vain his kindred, collecting round him, dissuaded 
him from his design, urging that it was Bahadur Singh's affair, 
not Ills. " Am not I,” he said, also of Raesal’s stock, and can 
I allow the Turk to destroy the dwelling of the Thakur (lord), 
and not attempt to save it '! Would tlris be acting the part of 
a Rajput 'I ” As their entreaties were vain, they, to the nmnber 
of sixty, resolved to accompany lum, and share his fate. They 
were joined by a party of Bahadur’s adherents, and succeeded 
in entering Khandela. The imperial commander, to whom this 
unlooked-for opposition was reported, well aware of what a Rajput 
is capable when excited to action, and perhaps moved by a 
generous feeling at seeing a handful of men oppose an army, 
requested that two of their number might be deputed to his camp 
to confer with hun. He told them, that notwithstanding it was 
the king's conunand that he should raze the temple to the ground, 
he would be satisfied (if accompanied by proper submission) with 
taking oft the kalas, or golden ball which surinoimted its pinnacle. 
They endeavoured to dissuade him ; offered money to the utmost 

Omkar’s shrme doubly respected, and it continues to be one of the best 
frequented and most venerated in these regions. [Numerous accounts of 
the destruction of Hin du temples by Aurangzeb have been collected by 
Jadunath Sarkar {History of Aurangzib, iii. 319 ff.). The Oinkar temple 
at Mandhata in the Nimar Jlistrict, Central Provinces, is served by a priest 
of the Bhilala caste, half Bhil, half Bajput, illustrating the mode by which 
aborigmal deities have been imported into Hinduism {IGI, xvii. 152 ; 
Russell, Tribes and Castes Central provinces, li. 294).] 



1390 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


possible amount of their means ; but the answer was, “ Ihe 
kalas must come down.” One of these noble delegates, no longer 
able to contain himself, exclaimed, “ Break down the kalas ! 
as with some moist (9ay at Ids feet he moulded a baU, wluch he 
placed on a little mound before him : and drawing his sword, 
repeated, “ Break down the kalas ! I dare you even to break this 
ball of clay ! ” The intrepidity of this action gained the applause 
even of the foe, and they had safe - conduct to rejoin their 
brethren, and prepare them for the worst. 

The Siege of Khandela. — At this time, Khandela had no forti- 
fications ; there w^as, however, a gateway half-way up the hill in 
the route of ascent, which led to the place of residence of its 
clueftains, adjoining which was the temple. One party was 
stationed in the gateway, wlule Shujawan reserved for Idmself 
the defence of the temple, in which he took post with his kinsmen. 
When the mercenaries of the tyrant advanced, the defenders of 
the gateway, after dealing many a distant death, marched upon 
them sword in hand, and perished. When they pushed on to 
the chief object of attack, the band issued forth in small detached 
parties, having first made their obeisances to the image, and 
carried destruction along with them. Shujawan was the last 
who fell. The temple was levelled to the eartli, the idol broken 
in pieces, and the fragments thrown into the foundation of a 
mosque erected on its ruins. There is hardly a town of note in 
Rajwara that has not to relate a similar tale of desperate valour 
in the defence of their household gods against the iniquitous and 
impolitic Aurangzeb. Khandela received a royal garrison ; but 
the old officers, both territorial and financial, were retained by 
the conqueror [397]. 

Bahadur Singh continued to reside in an adjacent township, 
and through his Diw an obtained a certain share of the crops and 
transit duties, namely, a ser out of every maund of the former, 
and one pice in every rupee of the latter. In process of time the 
family residence and gardens were given up to him, and when the 
Sayyids obtained power he regained his country, though a garrison 
of the royal troops was retained, whose expenses he paid. He left 
three sons, namely, Kesari_Singh, Fateh Singh, and Udai Singh. 

Kesari Smgh. — Kesari, solicitous to hold his lands on the same 
terms as his ancestors, namely, service to the lord-paramount, 
assembled his adherents, and w'ith Iris second brother, Fateh 



KESARI SINGH 


1391 


Singh, departed for the imperial camp, to proffer his service. 
Tlie Manoharpiir chief, the elder branch of the family, was in 
the royal camp, and having regained his lost consequence by the 
depression of Khaudela, was by no means willing again to part 
with it. He intrigued with the second brother, Fateh Singh, 
to whom he proposed a division of the lands ; the latter lent him- 
self to the intrigue, and the Diwan, seeing that a family quarrel 
would involve the destruction of them all, repaired to Khandela, 
and through the mother, a Gaur Rajputni, he advocated the parti- 
tion. A census was accordingly made of the population, and a 
measurement of the lands, of which two portions were assigned 
to Fateh Singh, and the three remaining to the Raja. The town 
itself was partitioned in the same manner. Henceforth, the 
brothers held no intercourse with each other, and Kesari preferred 
Ivliatu ' as his residence, though whenever he came to Khandela, 
Fateh Singh withdrew. Things remained in this state until the 
Diwan prompted his master to get rid of the agreement which 
had secured the ascendancy of iManoharpur in the Shaikhawat 
federation, bj' destroying his brother. The Diwan arranged a 
friendly meeting at Khatu for the avowed purpose of reconeilia- 
tion, when Fateh Singh fell a victim to assassination ; but the 
instigator to the crime met his proper reward, for a splinter of 
the sword which slew Fateh Singh entered his neck, and was the 
occasion of his death. 

Kesari Singh, having thus recovered all his lost authority, 
from the contentions at court conceived he might refuse the 
tribute of Rewasa, hitherto paid to the Ajmer treasury, while 
that of Khandela went to Namol.^ Sayyid Abdulla,® then 
wazir, found leisure to resent this insult, and sent a force against 
Kliandela. Every Raesalot in the country assembled to resist 
the Turk, and even his foe of Manoharpur sent his quota, led by 
the Dhabhai (foster-brother), to aid the national cause. Thus 
strengthened, Kesari determined to oppose the royal forees hand 
to hand in the plain, and [398] the rival armies encoimtered at 
the border town of Deoli.* While victory manifested a wish to 

* [This is probably the “ Kaotah ” of the text.] 

® [Now in the Patiala State, Panjab.] 

® [Sayyid Abdulla of Barba became wazir of Farruhhsiyar in a.d. 1713, 
and ^ed in prison in 1723.] 

* [About 70 miles S.W. of Ajmer.] 


1392 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


side with the confederated Shaikhawats, the old jealousies of 
Manoharpur revived, and he withdrew his quota from the field, 
at the same moment that tlie Kasli cliief, on whom much depended, 
was slam. To crown these misfortunes, the Larkhani cliief of 
Danta, basely deeming this an opportunity to consult liis own 
interest, abandoned the field, to take possession of Rewasa. 
The ‘ lion ’ of Khandela (Kesari), observing these defections, 
when the shout of “‘Jai! jai!"’ (victory, victory), already rang 
in his ears, could not help exclaiming, in the bitterness of despair. 
Had Fateh Singh been here, he would not have deserted me."’ 
He disdained, however, to give way, and prepared to meet his 
fate like a true Raesalot. Sending to where the battle yet raged 
for Ills youngest brotlier, Udai Singh, he urged him to save him- 
self ; but the young Rajput scorned obedience to such a behest, 
until Kesari made known his determination not to quit the field, 
adding that if he also were slain, there would be an end of his 
line. Others joined their persuasions, and even attempted to 
turn Kesari from his purpose. “ No,” rephed the cliief, "" I have 
no desire for hfe ; two black deeds press upon me ; the murder 
of my brother, and the curse of the Charans of Bikaner, whom 
I neglected at the distribution of the nuptial gifts. I will not 
add a third by dastardly flight.” As Udai Singh reluctantly 
obeyed, while the swords rang around luni, Kesari made a hasty 
sacrifice to Avanimata (mother earth), of wliich flesh, blood, and 
earth are the ingredients. He cut pieces from his own body, 
but as scarcely any blood flowed, his own uncle, Mohkam Singh 
of Aloda, parted with some of his, for so grand an obhgation as 
the retention of Khandela. Mixing liis own flesh, and his uncle's 
blood, with a portion of his own sandy soil, he formed small balls 
in dan (gift), for the maintenance of the land to his posterity. 
The Dom (bard), who repeated the incantations, pronounced 
the sacrifice accepted, and that seven generations of liis fine should 
rule in Khandela.^ The brave Kesari was slain, the town taken, 
and Udai Singh carried to Ajmer, where he remained three years 
in captivity. At this time, the chiefs of Udaipur and KasU 
determined to cut oft the royal garrison in Khandela ; but 

‘ The fifth, as will be seen hereafter, has been expelled, and authority 
usurped by the Kash branch of the family, and unless some fortunate change 
should occur, the devotion of Kesari was useless, and the prophecy must 
fall to the ground. 



UDAI SINGH ; SUPREMACY OF JAIPUR 


lags 


apprehensive of the danger it might occasion to their chief, they 
sent a special messenger to Ajmer, to acquaint the viceroy of 
their scheme, previous to its execution, to prevent liis being 
implieated. Khandela was surprised, and Deonath and tliree 
hundred Turks put to the sword. The viceroy [399], desirous to 
recover the place, consulted his prisoner, who offered to reinstate 
hun if he granted him liberty. The Nawab demanded a hostage, 
but tlie young Rajput said he knew of none but Ids own mother, 
who willingly became the pledge for her son. He fullilled his 
agreement, and the viceroy was so pleased with his frank and 
loyal conduct, that on paying a large nazarana, he restored 1dm 
to Ids capital. 

Udai Singh. — Udai ISingh’s lirst act was to assemble his brethren, 
in order to punish Manoharpur, whose treachery had caused them . 
so much ndsery. The foster-brother, who eommanded on that 
occasion, was again entrasted with the command ; but he fled 
after a sharp encounter, and Manoharpur was invested. Seeing 
he had no chance of salvation, he had again recoiurse to chal 
(stratagem). There were two feudatories of Nunkaran’s line, 
joint-holders of KhajroU, who had long been at variance with 
Dip Singh of KasU, the principal adviser of the young Raja of 
Khandela. They were gained over to the purpose of the Mano- 
harpur chief, who sent them with a private message to Dip Singh, 
that no sooner should Manoharpur fall than he woidd be deprived 
of KasU. These treacherous proceedings were but too common 
amongst ‘ the sons of Shaikhji.’ Dip Suigh fell into the snare, 
and at break of day, when the trumpets sounded for the assault, 
the drums of the Kasli chief were heard in full march to his 
estate. Udai Singh, thus deprived of Ids revenge, followed Dip 
Singh who, aware of his inabiUty to cope with Ids immediate 
chief, fled for succour to Jaipur, and KasU fell a sacrifice to the 
artifices which preserved Manoharpur. The great Jai Singh 
then rided Amber ; he received the suppUant chief, and prondsed 
1dm ample redress, on his swearing to become Ids vassal and 
tributary. Dip Singh swore allegiance to the gaddi of Jai Singh, 
and signed a tributary engagement of four thousand rupees 
annuaUy ! 

Supiemacy of Jaipur in ShaikhawatL — Thus recommenced the 
supremacy of Amber over the confederated Shaikhawats, which 
had been thrown off ever since the dispute regarding the colts 



1394 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


of Amritsar, the ancient mark of homage, when ‘ the sons of 
Shaikliji ' consisted only of a few hundred armed men. Shortly 
after tins transaction, Jai Sihgh proceeded to the Ganges to fullil 
certain rites upon an eclipse, and while performing his ablutions 
in the sacred stream, and the gifts for distribution to the priests 
being collected on the bank, he inquired “ who was present to 
receive dan that day ? ” The Kasli chief, spreading out the 
skirt of his garment, replied, he was an applicant. Such dun 
(gifts) being only given to mangtas, or mendicants, in which class 
they put priests, poets, and [400] the poor, the Raja asked, laugh- 
ing, “ VVhat is your desire, Thakur '! ” To which Dip Singh 
replied, that through his intercession the son of Fateh Singh 
might obtain his father's share of Khandela ; wliich request was 
complied with. 

This occurrence was in a.u. 1716, when the Jats were rising 
into power, and when all the minor Rajas served with their con- 
tingents mider the great Jai Singh, as lieutenant of the emperor. 
Along with the princes of Karauli, Bhadauria, Sheopur, and 
many others of the third rank, was Udai Singh of Khandela. 
During the siege of Thun, the Shaikhawat chief W'as reprimanded 
for neglect of duty, and although he owed a double allegiance to 
Jai Singh, as his natural liege lord and lieutenant of the king, he 
would not brook the censure from one of his own race, and in- 
dignantly withdrew from the siege. Churaman the Jat, having 
contrived to make his peace with the Saj'yid wazir, when Thun 
was upon the eve of surrender, and Udai Singh being implicated 
in this intrigue, Jai Singh, who was mortified at an occurrence 
wluch prevented the gratification of a long-cherished resentment 
against the upstart Jats, determined that the Khandela chief 
should suffer for his audacity. Attended by the imperialists 
under Bazid Khan, and aU his home clans, he laid siege to the 
citadel called Udaigarh. Udai Singh held out a month in this 
castle he had constructed and called by his own name, when his 
resources failing, he fled to Naru * in Marwar, and his son, Sawai 
Singh, presented the keys, throwing himself on the clemency of 
the conqueror. He was well received, and pardoned, on condition 
of becoming tributary to Amber. He followed the example of 
the Kasli chief, and signed an engagement to pay annually one 
lakh of rupees. From this a deduction of fifteen thousand was 
* [About 26 miles N.W. of- Jodhpur city.] 



SUPREMACY OF JAIPUR: BINDRABANDAS 1395 


subsequently made, and in lime being reduced twenty thousand 
more, sixty-live thousand continued to be the tribute of Khandela, 
until the decay of both the parent State and its scion, when the 
weakness of the former, and the merciless outrages of the pre- 
datory powers, Pathan and Mahratta, rendered its amount un- 
certain and dilllcult to realize. Moreover, recalling his promise 
to Dip Singh, he restored the division of the lands as existing 
prior to the murder of Fateh Singh, namely, three shares to Sawai 
Singh, with the title of chief of the Shaikhawats, and two to Dhir 
Singh, son of Fateh Singh. The young cousin chieftains, now 
joint-holders of Khandela, attended their liege lord with their 
contingent ; and Udai Singh, taking advantage of their absence, 
with the aid of a band of outlawed Larkhanis, surprised and took 
Khandela. Attended by the Jaipur troops, the son performed 
the dutiful task of expelling his father from his inheritance, who 
again fled to Karu, where he resided [-lOlJ upon a pension of live 
rupees a day, given by his son, until his death. He, however, 
outUved Sawai Singh, who left three sons : Bindraban, who 
succeeded to Kiiandela ; Shambhu, who had the appanage of 
Ranauli ; and Kusal, having that of Piprauli. 


CHAPTER 6 

Bindraband^. — Bindrabandas steadfastly adliered to Madho 
Singh in the civil wars which ensued for the gaddi of Amber, 
and the latter, when success attended his cause, wished to reward 
the important services of his feudatory. At his request, he 
consented that the partition of the lands which had caused so 
much bloodshed should be annulled, and that Bindraban should 
rule as sole lord of Khandela. Five thousand men were placed 
under his command for the expulsion of the minor, Indar Singh, 
grandson of Deo Singh, who made a stout resistance for many 
months ; but at length his little castle was no longer tenable, 
and he fled to Parsoli, where he again defended liimself, and was 
again on the point of surrender, when an unexpected accident 
not only saved him from exile, but restored him to his rights. 

Brahmans commit Suicide. — The mercenaries were supported 
at the sole charge of Bindraban, and Ins ancestors left no 
treasury, he was compelled to resort to the contribution called 



1396 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


dand from his subjects, not even exempting the hierarchy. Piqued 
at this miusual demand, some of the wealtliiest Brahmans ex- 
postulated with the Raja on tliis indignity to the order. But 
their appeals were disregarded by their chief, whose existence 
depended on supphes. The loss of influence as well as wealth 
being the fruit of this [-102] disregard of their remonstrance, tliey 
had recourse to that singular species of revenge termed chandni, 
or self-immolation, and poignarded themselves in his presence, 
pouring maledictions on his head with their last breath. The 
blood of Brahmans now rested on the head of Bindraban ; even 
amongst liis personal friends he laboured under a species of ex- 
conmiunication, and liis hege lord, Madho Singh of Amber, in 
order to expiate his indirect share in the guilt, recalled liis troops, 
and distributed twenty thousand rupees to the Brahmans of 
his own capital. Indar Singh had thus time to breathe, and 
having collected all his retainers, wisely joined the Jaipur army 
assembling under the command of the celebrated lUiushhaliram 
Bohra to chastise the Rao of Macheri, who was expelled and 
obUged to seek refuge with the Jats. In tliis service Indar Singh 
so much distinguished himself, that, on the payment of a nazaruna 
of lifty thousand rupees, he recovered his lost share of Ivhandela, 
by a regidar patta, or grant, of the Raja. 

Tribal Feuds. — Perpetual feuds, however, raged between these 
two kmgs of Ivhandela, each of whom had his castle, or fortified 
palace. Each day “ there was war even in the gates " of Khan- 
dela, and at the hazard of prolixity we shall state how it was con- 
ducted, challenging the records of any civil war to produce an 
instance in wliich all the tics of blood and kindred were more 
disregarded than in this bellum plusquam civile. 

Indar Singh had popularity on his side to balance the other's 
superior power, and he was briskly pushing an attack on Udaigarh, 
the castle of his opponent, when he was joined by Raghunath 
Singh, the younger son of his foeman. This youth, who had the 
township of Kuchor in appanage, helped himself to three more, 
to retain which he sided with liis father's foe. Bindraban, in 
order to create a diversion, salhed out to attack Kuchor ; to 
oppose wliich. Ids son, together with his nephew, Prithi Singh of 
Ranoli and his retainers, withdrew from the batteries to defend 
it. But the attack on Kuchor had already failed, and Bindraban 
was on his retreat to regain Khandela when he was intercepted. 



tribal feuds 


1397 


The battle took place outside the citv, whose wates were shut 
against friend and foe, to prevent a pell-mell entry. At the same 
time, the siege of Udaigarh was not slackened ; it was defended 
by Gk)\'ind Singh, the eldes^son of Bindraban, while the batteries 
against it were commanded bv another near kinsman, Nahar 
Singh of Cherana. For several days daily combats ensued, in 
which were to be seen father and son, uncles and nephews, and 
cousins within every degree of affinity, destro\nng each other. 
At length, both parties were exhausted and a compromise ensued, 
in which Indar Singh obtained the rights he had so manfully 
vindicated |'403]. 

Attack bv Najaf Kuli Khan. — At this time, a d;^ung and 
desultory' effort, to regain his lost power was made by Najaf Kuli 
IChan, at the head of the imperialists, who, conducted by the 
traitorous Macheri Rao, led the royal army into the lands of the 
confederacy to raise contributions, for which he was cordially 
and laudably detested. Nawal Singh of Nawalgarh, Bagh Singh 
of lOietri, Surajmall of Baswa,* all chieftains of the Sadhanis. 
unable to .comply with the requisitions, were carried off. and 
retained captive till ransomed for many lakhs of riipees ; all 
eventually raised upon the impoverished husbandman and 
industrious merchant. 

The din of civil war having ended, the ministers of religion 
nev'er ceased pouring into the ears of Bindraban the necessity 
of expiation and oblations for the murder of their brethren, and 
he was daily sacrificing the birthright of his children, in grants 
of the best lands of Khandela, to these drones of society, when 
Gk)vind. the heir-apparent, remonstrated, which was followed 
bv the abdication of Bindraban, who, appropriating fiv^e town- 
ships and the impost duties of Khandela for his support, left 
the cares of government to his son.* 

Abdication of Bindraban : Govind Singh succeeds.— Govind 
Singh did not long enjoy the honours of chief of the Raesalots. 
The year of his elevation having produced an unfav’ourable 
harvest, at the request of his vassal of Ranoli he proeeeded to 
inspect the crops preparatory to a reduction in the assessment. 
Less superstitious than his father, he persevered in spite of the 

* [Nawalgarh, about 30 miles N.W. of Khandela : Khetri, about the 
same distance N.E. ; Baswa, about 85 miles N.N.W. of Jaipur city.] 

• His second son, Raghunath, had Kuchor in appanage. 



1398 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


predictions of the astrologer, who told him, “ to beware the 
ides (amavas) of Pus,” ’ and not to go abroad that day. In the 
course of the excursion, one of his personal attendants, a Rajput 
of Kajroli, had lost some valuable article entrusted to his charge, 
and the impetuous chief broadly taxed him with theft. His pro- 
testations of innocence were unavailing, and considering himself 
dishonoured by the imputation, which might possibly be followed 
by some disgraceful punishment, he determined to anticipate his 
chief, and murdered him that night. Govind left five sons, 
Narsingh, Surajmall (who had Dodia), Bagh Singh, Jawan Singh, 
and Ranjit, all of whom had families. 

Murder of Govind Singh : Narsinghdas succeeds. — Narsinghdas, 
his eldest son, succeeded. In spite of internal dissensions, 
occasional chastisement, and pecuniary exactions from the 
imperial armies, or those of their immediate liege lord of Amber, 
the confederated frerage of Shaikhavati had increased their 
territory and population. Only the shadow of a name now 
remained to the empire of the Great Mogul ; and their own lord- 
paramount, satisfied with a certain degree of homage, tribute, 
and service on emergencies, was little inclined to trench [404] 
further upon their national independence. But a new enemy 
had now arisen, and though of their own faith, far more destruc- 
tive than even the tolerant Islamite. Happy were the inhabitants 
of the desert who had an ocean of sand between them and this 
scourge of India, the insatiable Mahratta. After the fatal day 
of Merta. where the evil genius of Rajputana enabled De Boigne 
to give the last blow to her independence, the desultory hordes 
roved in bands through the lauds of the confederation, plundering, 
murdering, and carrjdng off captive the principal chiefs or their 
children, as hostages for contributions they could not realise. 
These were dragged about after their armies, until the hardships 
and indignities they underwent made them sell every article of 
value, or until the charge of keeping, or the trouble of guarding 
them, rendered their prolonged captivity burdensome to the 

wandering Southrons. 

» 

* [The Amavas, or last day of the month, is unlucky for all undertakhigs, 
and is kept as a day of rest by traders, shopkeepers, and craftsmen. If the 
last day falls on a Monday, it is specially taboo, and people bathe in a river 
or pool and make gifts to Brahmans {BO, ix. Part i. 397). Pus faUs in 
January and February.] 



marAtha inroads 


1399 


Maratha Inroads. — Let lis follow the path of the barbarians, 
and trace only one day’s acts of outrage. When the Mahrattas 
entered the lands of the federation, soon after the battle of Merta, 
they first attacked Bai.* The inhabitants, knowing that they 
had no hope of mercy from these marauders, fled, carrying away 
all the effects they could to the larger towns, while a garrison 
of eighty Rajputs took post in the little castle, to defend the 
point of honour against this new assailant. Bai was stormed ; 
not one Rajput would accept of quarter, and all were put to the 
sword. The enemy proceeded to Khandela. the route marked 
by similar tracks-of blood. When within two coss of the town, 
the horde halted at Hodiganw, and a Pandit ^ was sent to Rao 
Indar Singh to settle the contribution, which was fixed at twenty 
thousand rupees, besides three thousand in ghrts “ (bribe), for the 
Brahman negotiator. The two chiefs, who negotiated on the 
part of the joint Rajas of Khandela, proceeded with the Pandit 
to the enemy’s camp ; their names were Nawal and Dalil. As 
it was out of their power to realise so large a sum, they were 
accompanied by the joint revenue officers of Khandela as ol, 
or hostage, when to their dismay, the Southron commander 
demurred, and said they themselves must remain. One of the 
chieftains, with the sang-froid which a Rajput never loses, coolly 
replied, that should not be, and taking his hukka from his attend- 
ant, began unceremoniously to smoke, when a rude Deecani 
knocked the pipe from his hand [495]. The Thakur’s sword was 
unsheathed in -an instant, but ere he had time to use it a pistol- 
ball passed through his brain. Dalil Singh’s party, attempting 
to avenge their companion, were cut off to a man ; and Indar 
Singh, who had left Khandela to learn how the negotiations sped, 
arrived just in time to see his clansmen butchered. He W’as ad- 
vised to regain Khandela : “ No,” replied the intrepid Raesalot ; 

’ [Close to the Jodhpur frontier, about 40 miles N.W. of Jaipur city.] 

2 The ministers of religion were the only clerks amongst this race of 
depredators, and they were not behind the most illiterate in cupidity, and 
to say the truth, courage, when required ; and as for skill in negotiation, 
a Mahratta Brahman stands alone ; keen, skilful, and imperturbable, he 
would have bafBed MachiaveUi himself. 

2 Ghiis is literally ‘ a bribe ’ ; and no treaty or transaction was ever 
carried on without this stipulation. So sacred was the ghus held, from 
tyrant usage, that the Peshwa ministers, when they ruled the destinies of 
their nation, stipulated that the ghus should go to the privy purse ! 



1400 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


“ better that I should fall before the ^tes of Khandela than enter 
them after svich disgrace, without avenging my kinsmen.” Dis- 
mounting from his horse, he turned him loose, his adherents 
following his example : and sword in hand they rushed on the 
host of assassins and met their fate. Indar Singh was stretehed 
beside his vassals, and, strange to say. Dalil was the only s^lr^^vor ; 
though covered with wounds, he was taken up alive, and carried 
to the hostile camp. 

Such was the opening scene of the lengthened tragedy enacted 
in Shaikhavati, when Mahratta aetors succeeded to Pathans and 
Moguls : heirs to their worst feelings, without one particle of 
their magnanimity or courtesy. But the territory of the con- 
federacy was far too narrow a stage ; even the entire plain of 
India appeared at one time too restricted for the hydra-headed 
banditti, nor is there a principality, district, or even townshij). 
from the Sutlej to the sea, where similar massacres have not been 
known, and but for our interposition, sucb scenes would have 
continued to the present hour. 

Partap Singh. — Partap Singh, who succeeded his brave father 
in his share of the patrimony, was at this crisis with his mother 
at Sikrai, a strong fort in the hills, ten miles from Khandela. 
To save the town, the principal men dug tip the grain-pits, selling 
their property to release their minor chief from further trouble. 
Having obtained all they could, the enemy proceeded to the lands 
of the Sadhanis. Udaipur was the first assaulted, taken, and 
sacked ; the walls were knocked down, and the floors dug up in 
search of treasure. After four days’ havoc, they left it a ruin, 
and marched against the northern chieftains of Singhana, Jhim- 
jhunu, and Khetri. On the departure of the foe, young Partap 
and his kinsman, Narsingh, took up their abode in Khandela ; 
but scarcely had they recovered from the effects of the Deccani 
incursion, before demands were made by their liege lord of Amber 
for the tribute. Partap made his peace by assigning a fourth 
of the harvest ; but Narsingh, in the procrastinating and haughty 
spirit of his ancestors, despised an arrangement which, he said 
(and with justice), would reduce him to the level of a common 
Bhumia landholder. 

Devi Singh. — At this period, a remote branch of the lUiandela 
Shaikhawats began to disclose a spirit that afterwards wained 
him distinction. Devi Singh, chieftain of Sikar, a [406] descend- 



marAtha inroads 


1401 


ant of Rao Tirniall of Kasli, had added to his patrimony by the 
usurpation of no less than twenty-fiv'e large townships, as Loha- 
garha, Koh, etc. ; and he deemed this a good opportunity, his 
chief being embroiled with the court, to make an attack on 
Rewasa ; but death put a stop to the ambitious views of the 
Sikar chieftain. Having no issue, he had adopted Lachhman 
Singh, son of the Shahpura Thakur ; but the .Jaipur court,, which 
had taken great umbrage at these most unjustifiable assaults 
of the Sikar chief on his weaker brethren, commanded Nandram 
Haldia (brother of the prime minister Daulat Ram), collector of 
the Shaikhawat tribute, to attack and humble him. No sooner 
were the orders of the court promulgated, than all the Bam'atias ‘ 
gathered round the standard of the collector, to aid in the redemp- 
tion of their patrimonies wrested from them by Sikar. Besides 
the Khandela chief in person, there were the Pattawats of Kasli, 
Bilara, and others of Tirmall’s stock ; and even the Sadhanis, 
who little interfered in the affairs of the Raesalots, repaired with 
joy with their tribute and their retainers to the camp of the Jaipur 
commander, to depress the Sikar chief, who was rapidly rising 
over them all. Nearly the whole troops of the confederacy were 
thus assembled. Devi Singh, it may be imagined, was no common 
character, to have excited such universal hatred ; and his first 
care had been to make strong friends at court, in order to retain 
what he had acquired. He had especially cultivated the minister’s 
friendship, which was now turned to account. A deputation, 
h- consisting of a Chondawat chief, the Diwan of Sikar, and that 
important character the Dhabhai, repaired to the Haldia, and 
implored him in the name of the deceased, not to give up liis 
infant son to hungry and revengeful Barwatias. The Haldia said 
there was but one way by which he could avoid the fulfilment of 
his court’s command, which was for them, as he approached the 
place, to congregate a force so formidable from its numbers, as 
i to exonerate liim from all suspicion of collusion. With the 
treasury of Devi Singh, overflowing from the spoliation of the 
Kaimkhani of Fatehpur, it was easy to afford such indemnity 
to the Haldia, at whose approach to Sikar ten thousand men 

^ Barwatia is ‘ one expatriated,’ from ‘ bar ' \bahir'\ ‘ out of,’ and watan, 
‘ a country,’ and it means either an exile or an outlaw, according to the 
measure of crime which caused his banishment from his country. [See 
Vol. IT. p. 797.] 


1402 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


appeared to oppose him. Having made a show of investing 
Sikar, and expended a good deal of ammnnition, he addressed 
his court, where his brother was minister, stating he could make 
nothing of Sikar without great loss, both of time, men, and 
money, and advising an aeceptance of the proffered svihmission. 
Without waiting a reply, he took two lakhs as a fine for his flOT] 
sovereign, and a present of one for himself. The siege was broken 
up, and Sikar was permitted to prosecute his schemes ; in whieli 
he was not a little aided by the continued feuds of the co-partner 
chiefs of Khandela. Partap took advantage of Narsingh’s non- 
compliance with the cotirt’s reqiiisition, and his consequent dis-' 
grace, to settle the feud of their fathers, and unite both shares 
in his own person ; and stipulated in return to be responsible for 
the whole tribute, be ready with his contingent to serve the court, 
and pay besides a handsome nazarana or investiture. The 
Haldia was about to comply, when Rawal Indar Singh of Samod.' 
chief of the Nathawat clan, interceded for Narsingh, and inviting 
him on his own responsibility to the camp, acquainted him with 
the procedure of his rival, in whose name the patent for Khandela 
was actually made out ; “ but even now,” said this noble chief, 

“ I will staj' it if you comply with the terms of the court.” But 
Narsingh either would not, or coidd not, and the Samod chief 
urged his immediate departure ; adding that as he came under 
his guarantee, he w'as desirous to see him safe back, for “ such 
were the crooked ways of the Amber h.ouse,” that if he prolonged 
his stay, he might be involved in ruin in his desire to protect him. 
Accordingly, at dusk, with sixty of his own retainers, he escorted 
him to Nawalgarh, and the next morning he was in his castle of 
Govindgarh. The precautions of the Samod chief were not vain, 
and he was reproached and threatened with the court’s dis- 
pleasure, lor permitting Narsingh’s departure ; but he nobly 
replied, “ he had performed the duty of a Rajput, and ■would 
abide the consequences.” .As the sequel will further exemplify 
the corruptions of courts, and the base passions of kindred, under 
a system of feudal government, we shall trespass on the reader's 
patience by recording the result. 

Quarrel between Samod and Chanmnn.— Samod and Chauimm t 
are the chief houses of the Nathawat clan ; the elder branch ( 

^ [About 20 miles N. of Jaipur city.] 



QUARREL BETWEEN SAMOD AND CHAUMON 1403 


enjoying the title of Rawal, with supremacy over the numerous 
vassalage. But these two families had often contested the lead, 
^ and their feiids had caused much bloodshed. On the disgrace of 
Indar Singh, as already related, his rival of Chaumun repaired 
to court, and offered so large a nazarana as to be invested with 
rights of seniority. Avarice and revenge were good advocates : 
a warrant was made out and transmitted to Indar Singh (still 
serving with the collector of the tribute) for the sequestration 
of Samod. Placing, like a dutiful subject, the warrant to his 
forehead, he instantly departed for Samod, and commanded 
the removal of his family, his goods and chattels, from the seat 
of his ancestors, and went into exile in Marwar. In after times, 
his Rani had a grant of the village of Piplai, to which Ihe mag- 
nanimous, patriotic flOSj. and loyal Indar Singh, when he found 
the hand of death upon him, repaired, that he might die in the 
hands of the Kaehhwahas, and have his ashes buried amongst his 
fathers. This man, who was naturally brave, acted upon the 
abstract principle of swaniidharma, or ‘ fealty,’ which is not even 
now exploded, in the midst of corruption and demoralization. 
Indar Singh would have been fully justified, according to all the 
principles which govern the.se .States, in resisting the iniquitous 
mandate. Such an act might have been deemed rebellion by 
those who look only at the surface of things ; but let the present 
lords-paramount go deeper, when they have to decide between 
a Raja and his feudatories, and look to the origin and condition 
- of both, and the ties which alone can hold such associations 
> together. 

I f-Partap Singh secures Possession of Khandela.^ — To return ; 
Partap Singh, having thus obtained the whole of Khandela, 
commenced the demolition of a fortified gate, whence during the 
feuds his antagonist used to play some swivels against his castle. 
While the work of destruction was advancing, an omen occurred, 
foreboding evil to Partap. .4n image of Ganesa, the god of 
wisdom and protector of the arts (more especially of architecture), 
was fixed in the wall of this gate, which an ill-fated and un- 
intentional blow knocked from its elevated position to the earth, 
and being of terra-cotta, his fragments lay dishonoured and 
scattered on the pavement. Notwithstanding this, the demoli- 
tion was completed, and the long obnoxious gateway levelled 
with the earth. Partap, having adjusted affairs in the capital. 



1404 


ANNALS OP AMBER OR JAIPUR 


proceeded against Rewasa, which he reduced, and then laid siege 
to Govindgarli,* aided by a detachment of the Haldia. Having 
encamped at Gura, two coss from it, and twice that distance from 
Ranoli, its chief, who still espoused the cause of his immediate 
head, the unfortunate Narsingh, sent his minister to the Haldia, 
offering not only to be responsible for all arrears due by Narsingh, 
but also a handsome douceur, to restore him to his rights. He 
repaired to Khandela, stationed a party in the fortified palace 
of Narsingh, and consented that they should be expelled, as if 
by force of his adherents, from Govindgarh. Accordingly, 
Surajmall and Bagh Singh, the brothers of Narsingh, in the 
dead of night, with one hundred and fifty followers, made a 
mock attack on the Haldia’s followers, expelled them, and made 
good a lodgment in their ancient dwelling. Partap was highly 
exasperated ; and to render the acquisition useless, he ordered 
the possession of a point which commanded the mahall ; hut 
here he was anticipated by his opponent, whose party now 
poured into Khandela. He then cut off their supplies of water, 
bj’’ fortifying the reservoirs and wells, and this brought matters 
to a crisis. An action ensued, in which many were killed on each 
side, when [409] the traitorous Haldia interposed the five-coloured 
banner, and caused the combat to cease. Narsingh, at this 
juncture, joined the combatants in person, from his castle of 
Govindgarh, and a treaty was forthwith set on foot, which left 
the district of Rewasa to Partap, and restored to Narsingh his 
share of Khandela. 

These domestic broils continued, however, and occasions were 
perpetually recurring to bring the rivals in collision. The first 
was on the festival of the Ganggor ; the next on the Ranoli chief 
placing in durance a vassal of Partap, which produced a general 
gathering of the clans : both ended in an appeal to the lord-para- 
mount, who soon merged the office of arbitrator in that of dictator. 

The Sadhanis, or chieftains of northern Shaikhavati, began 
to feel the bad effects of these feuds of the Raesalots, and to 
express dissatisfaction at the progressive advances of the Jaipur 
court for the establishment of its supremacy. Until this period 
they had escaped any tributary engagements, and only recognized' 
their connexion with Amber by marks of homage and fealty on 

^ [About 30 miles N. of Jaipur city.] 

^ [See Vol. II. p. 665, for an account of this festival.] 



TRIBAL FEUDS : TREATY WITH JAIPUR 1405 


lapses, which belonged more to kindred than political superiority. 
But as the armies of the court were now perpetually on the 
frontiers, and might soon pass over, they deemed it necessary to 
take measures for their safety. The township of Tui, appertain- 
ing to Nawalgarh, had already been seized, and Ranoli was 
battered for the restoration of the subject of Partap. These 
were grievances which affected all the Sadhanis, who, perceiving 
they could no longer preserve their neutrality, determined to 
abandon their internal dissensions, and form a system of general 
defence. Accordingly, a general assembly of the Sadhani lords, 
and as many of the Raesalots as chose to attend, was announced 
at the ancient place of rendezvous, Udaipur. To increase the 
solemnity of the occasion, and to banish aU suspicion of treachery, 
as well as to extinguish ancient feuds, and reconcile chiefs who 
had never met but in hostility, it was unanimously agreed that 
the most sacred pledge of good faith, the Nundab,^ or dipping 
the hand in the salt, should take place. 

The entire body of the Sadhani lords, with aU their retainers, 
met at the appointed time, as did nearly all the Raesalots, except- 
ing the joint chieftains of Khandela, too deeply tainted with 
mutual distrust to take part in this august and national congress 
of all ‘the children of Shaikhji.’ It was decided in this grand 
council, that all internal strife should cease ; and that for the 
future, whenever it might occur, there should [410] be no appeals 
to the arbitration of Jaipur ; but that on all such occasions, or 
where the general interests were endangered, a meeting should 
take place at ‘the Pass of Udaipur,’ to deliberate and decide, 
but above all to repel by force of arms, if necessary, the further 
encroachments of the court. This unusual measure alarmed the 
court of Amber, and when oppression had generated determined 
resistance, it disapproved and disowned the proceedings of its 
lieutenant, who was superseded by Rora Ram, with orders to 
secure the person of his predecessor. His flight preserved him 
from captivity in the dungeons of Amber, but his estates, as well 
as those of the minister his brother, were resumed, and aU their 
property was confiscated. 

Treaty between the Shaikhawats and Jaipur. — The new dom- 

1 Nun or lun, ‘ salt,’ and dSbna, ‘ to dip, bespatter, or sprinkle.’ [Salt, 
apparently from its power of checking decay, is used in magical rites, and 
is believed to be efficacious for scaring evil spirits.] 



1406 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


mander, who was a tailor by caste, was^ ordered to follow the 
Haldia to the last extrenuty ; for, in these regions, displaced 
ministers and rebels are identical. It was expected, if they did 
not lose their heads, to see them in opposition to the orders of 
their sovereign lord, whose slaves they had so lately proclaimed 
themselves : in fact, a rebel minister in Rajwara is hke an ex- 
Tory or ex- Whig elsewhere, nor does restoration to the councils 
of his sovereign, perhaps in a few short months after he carried 
arras against him, plundered liis subjects, and carried conflagra- 
tion in his towns, excite more than transient emotion. The new 
commander was eager to obtain the services of the assembled 
Shaikhawats against the Haldias, but experience had given them 
wisdom ; and they not only exacted stipulations befitting their 
position, as the price of this aid, but, what was of more con- 
sequence, negotiated the conditions of their future comiexion 
with the lord-paramount. 

The first article was the immediate restoration of the townsliips 
wliich the Haldia had seized upon, as Tui, Gwala, etc. 

The second, that the court should disavow all pretensions to 
exact tribute beyond what they had voluntarily stipulated, and 
which they would remit to the capital. 

Third, that on no account should the armies of the court 
enter the lands of the confederation, the consequences of which 
had been so strongly marked in the atrocities at Khandela. 

Fourth, that the confederacy would furnisli a contingent for 
the service of the court, which should be paid by the court while 
so employed. 

The treaty being ratified through the intervention of the new 
commander, and having received in advance 10,000 rupees for 
their expenses, the chiefs with their retainers repaired to the 
capital, and after paying homage to their liege lord, zealously 
set to work to execute its orders on the Haldia faction, who were 
dispossessed of their [411] estates. But, as observed in the 
annals of the parent State, Jaipur had obtained the distinction 
of the jhuOia durbar, or ‘ lying court,’ of the justness of which 
epithet it afforded an illustration in its conduct to the confederated 
chieftains, who soon discovered the difference between promises 
and performance. They had done their duty, but they obtained 
not one of the advantages for which they agreed to serve the 
comt ; and they had the mortification to see they had merely 


TREACHEROUS ARREST OF NARSINGH 


1407 


displaced the garrisons of the Ualdia for those of Rora Ram. 
After a short consultation, they determined to seek themselves 
the justice that was denied them ; accordingly, they assaulted 
in succession the towns occupied by Rora Ram’s myrmidons, 
drove them out, and made them over to their original proprietors. 

Treacherous Arrest of Narsingh and other Chiefs. — At the same 
time, the court having demanded the usual tribute from Narsingh- 
das, whieh was always in arrear, he had the imprudence to stone 
the agent, who was a relation of the minister. He hastened to 
the Presence, “ threw his turban at the Raja’s feet,” saying, 
he was dishonoured for ever. A mandate was instantaneously 
issued for the sequestration of Khandela and the capture of 
Narsingh, who bade his liege lord defiance from his castle of 
Govindgarh : but his co-partner, Partap Singh, having no just 
cause of apprehension, remained in Khandela, which was en- 
vironed by the Jaipur troops under Asaram. His security was 
his ruin ; but the wily Bania (Asaram), who wished to seize at 
once the joint holders of the estate, offered no molestation to 
Partap, while he laid a plot for the other. He invited his return, 
on the bachan, or ‘ pledge of safety,’ of the Manoharpur chief. 
Narsingh did not hesitate, for rank as was the character of his 
countrymen in these degenerate days, no Rajput had ever 
incurred the epithet of Bachanchuk, tenfold more odious than 
that of murderer, and which no future action, however brilliant, 
could obUterate, even from his descendants to the latest posterity. 
On the faith of this bachan, Narsingh came, and a mock negotia- 
tion was carried on for the arrears of tribute, and a time fixed for 
payment. Narsingh returned to Khandela, and Asaram broke 
up his camp and moved away. The crafty Bania, having thus 
successfully thrown him off his guard, on the third day rapidly 
retraced his steps, and at midnight surrounded Narsingh in 
his abode, who was ordered to proceed forthwith to the camp. 
Burning with indignation, he attempted self-destruction, but 
was withheld ; and accompanied by a few Rajputs who swore 
to protect or die with him, he joined Asaram to see the issue. 

A simple plan was adopted to secure Partap, and he fearlessly 
obeyed the summons. Both parties remained in camp ; the one 
was amused with a negotiation for [412] his liberation on the 
payment of a fine ; the other had higher hopes ; and in the 
indulgence of both, their vassals relaxed in vigilance. While 



1408 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


they were at dinner, a party plante<i in ambuscade rushed out, 
and before tliey could seize their arms, made captive both the 
chiefs. They were pinioned like felons, put into a covered 
carriage, despatched under the guard of five hundred men to the 
eapital, and found apartments ready for them in the state-prison 
of Amber. It is an axiom wdth these people, that the end sanctifies 
the means ; and the prince and his minister congratulated each 
other on the complete success of the scheme. Khandela was 
declared khalisa (fiscal), and garrisoned by five hundred men from 
the camp, while the inferior feudatories, holding estates detached 
from the capital, were received on terms, and even allowed to 
hold their fiefs on the promise that they did not disturb the 
sequestrated lands. 


CHAPTER 7 

Dinaram Bohra organizes an Attack on the Sadhanis. — Dinaram 
Bohra was now (a.d. 1798-9) prime minister of Jaipur, and he 
no sooner heard of the success of -Asarani, than he proceeded to 
join him in person, for the purpose of collecting the tribute due 
by the Sadhani chiefs. Having formed a junction with Asarani 
at Udaipur, they marched to Parasurampur, a town in the heart 
of the Sadhanis, whence they issued commands for the tribute 
to be brought ; [413] to expedite which, the ministers sent dhus ^ 
to all the townships of the confederacy. This insulting process 
irritated the Sadhanis to such a degiee that they wrote to Dinaram 
to withdraw his parties instantly, and retrace his steps to Jhun- 
jhunu, or abide the consequences ; declaring, if he did so, that 
the collective tribute, of which ten thousand was then ready, 
would be forthcoming. All had assented to this arrangement 
but Bagh Singh, brother of the captive prince of Khandela, who 
was so incensed at the faithless conduct of the court, after the 
great services they had so recently performed, that he determined 
to oppose by force of arms this infraction of their charter, which 
declared the inviolability of the territory of the confederation 

1 Dhus is an expedient to hasten the compliance of a demand from a 
dependent. A party of horse proceeds to the township, and are commanded 
to receive so much per day till the exaction is complied with. If tlie dhus 
is refused, it is considered tantamount to an appeal to arms. l^Dhusnd 
means ‘ to butt like an ox,’ hence ‘ to coerce.’] 



BATTLE OF FATEHPUR 


1409 


so .ong as the tribute was paid. He was joined by five hundred 
men of KJietri, witli whieh having levied contributions at Singh- 
hana and Fatehpur from tlie traitorous lord of Sikar, he invited 
to their aid the celebrated George Thomas, then carving out his 
fortunes amongst these discordant political elements. 

Battle of Fatehpur, Defeat of Jaipur Army by George Thomas, 
A.D. 1799. — Nearly the whole of the Jaipur mercenary and feudal 
army was embodied on tliis occasion, and although far superior 
in numbers to the confederation, yet the presence of Thomas and 
his regulars more than counterpoised their numerical inferiority. 
The attack of Thomas was irresistible ; the Jaipur lines led by 
Rora Ram gave way, and lost several pieces of artillery. To 
redeem what the cowardice and ill-conduct of the general-in-chief 
had lost, the chieftain of Chaumun formed a gol or dense band 
of the feudal chivalry, which he led in person against Thomas’s 
brigade, charging to the mouths of his guns. His object, the 
recovery of the guns, was attained with great slaughter on each 
side. The Chaummi chief (Ranjit Singh) was desperately wounded, 
and Bahadur Singh, Pahar Singh, chiefs of the Khangarot clans, 
with many others, were slain by discharges of grape ; the guns 
were retrieved, and Thomas and his auxiliaries were deprived of 
a victory, and ultimately compelled to retreat.' 

The captive chiefs of Khandela deemed this revolt and union 
of their coimtrymen favourable to their emancipation, and 
addressed them to this effect. A communication was made to 
the discomfited Rora Ram, who promised his influence, provided 
an efficient body of Raesalots joined his camp, and by their services 
secondetl their [414] requests. Bagh Singh was selected ; a 
man held in high esteem by both parties, and even the court 
manager of Khandela found it necessary to retain his services, 
as it was by his influence only over his unruly brethren that he 
was enabled to make anything of the new fiscal lands. For this 
purpose, and to preserve the point of honour, the manager per- 
mitted Bagh Singh to remain in the fortified palace of Khandela, 

' Franklin, in his Life of George Thomas, describes this battle circum- 
stantially ; but makes it appear an affair of the Jaipur court, with Thomas 
and the Slahrattas, m which the Shaikhawats are not mentioned. Thomas 
gives the Rajput chivalry full praise for their gallant bearing. — Mem&ir of 
George Thomas, p. 109. [The battle was fought early in 1799 at Fatehpur, 
about 145 miles N-W. of Jaipur city (Compton, European Military Adven- 
turers, 146 ff.).] 



1410 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


with a small party of his brethren ; but on being selected to lead 
the quotas of his countrymen with the court commander, he left 
his younger brother, Lachhman Singh, as his deputy. 

Hanwant Singh captures Kbandela. — ^No sooner did it reach 
the ears of Hanwant Singh of Saledi, son of the captive Partap, 
that Bagh Singh had joined the army, than, in the true spirit of 
these relentless feuds, he determined to attempt the castle. As 
soon as the darkness of night favoured liis design, he hastened its 
accomplishment, escaladed it, and put the unprepared garrison 
to the sword. Intelligence of tliis event reached Bagh Singh 
at Ranoli, who instantly countermarched, and commenced the 
assault, into which even the townspeople entered heartily, in- 
spired as they were with indignation at the atrocious murder of 
the young eliief. The day was extremely hot ; the defendants 
fought for their existence, for their leader could not hope for 
mercy. The assailants were served with the best food ; such 
was the enthusiasm, that even the women forgot their fears, 
and cheered them on as the ladders were planted against the 
last point of defence. Then the white flag was displayed, and 
the gate opened, but the murderer had fled. 

JManjidas succeeded Dinaram as minister of Jaipur ; and Rora 
Ram, notwithstanding his disgraceful defeat and the lampoons 
of the bards, continued to be collector of the Shaikhawat tribute, 
and farmed the fiscal lands of Khandela to a Brahman for twenty 
thousand rupees annually. This Bralunan. in conjunction with 
another speculative brother, had taken a lease of the Mapa 
Rahdari, or town and transit duties at Jaipur, which having been 
profitable, they now agreed to take on lease the sequestrated lands 
of Khandela. Having not only fulfilled their contract the first 
year, but put money in their pocket, they renewed it for two 
more. Aided by a party of the Silahposhians ^ of the court, 
the minister of religion showed he was no messenger of peace, 
and determined to make the most of his ephemeral power, he not 
only levied contributions on the yet independent feudatories, 
but attacked those who resisted, and carried several of their 
castles sword in hand. The brave ‘sons of Raesal’ could not 

bear this new mark of contumely and bad faith of the court, 

“ to be made the sport of a tailor and a Brahman,” — and having 
received intimation from the captive [415] chiefs that there was 
1 [Men clad in armour (Irvine, Army of the Indian Moghuls, 104).] 



RESISTANCE OP THE SHAIKHAWATS TO JAIPUR 1411 

no hope of their liberty, they at once threw away the scabbard 
and commenced a scene of indiscriminate vengeance, which the 
Rajput often has recourse to when urged to despair. They at 
once assailed Khandela, and in spite of the resistance of seven 
thousand Dadupanthis,^ dispossessed the Purohit, and sacked it. 
Then advancing within the Jaipur domains, they spread terror 
and destruction, pillaging even the estates of the queen. Fresh 
troops were sent against them, and after many actions the con- 
federacy was broken up. The Ranoli chief and others of the 
elder branches made their peace, but the younger branches fled 
the country, and obtained saran (sanctuary) and subsistence in 
Marwar and Bikaner : Sangram Singh of Sujawas (cousin to 
Partap) sought the former, Bagh Singh and Suraj Singh the 
latter, whose prince gave them lands. There they abode in 
tranquillity for a time, looking to that justice from the prince 
which tributary collectors knew not ; but when apathy and 
neglect mistook the motive of this patient suffering, he was 
aroused from his indifference to the fate of the brave Barwatias, 
by the tramp of their horses’ feet even at the gates of his capital. 

Sangram Singh headed the band of exiles, wliich spread fear 
and desolation over a great portion of Dhimdhar. In many 
districts they established rakhwali ; ^ and wherever they succeeded 
in surprising a thana (garrison) of their liege lord, they cut it up 
without mercy. They sacked the town of Koh, within a few miles 
of the city of Jaipur, from under whose walls they carried off 
horses to mount their gang. Animated by successful revenge, 
and the excitement of a life so suited to the Rajput, Sangram 
became the leader of a band of several hundred horse, bold 
enough to attempt anything. Complaints for redress poured in 
upon the court from all quarters, to which a deaf ear might have 
been turned, had they not been accompanied with applications 
for reduction of rent. The court at length, alarmed at this daring 
desperado, made overtures to him through Shyam Singh Sadhani, 
the chief of Baswa, on whose bachan (pledge) Sangram consented 
to appear before his Uege lord. As soon as he arrived under the 
walls of the city, his cavalcade was surrounded by aU classes, 
but particularly the Sikh mercenaries, all of whom recognized 

1 [See Vol. II. p. 863.] 

® The salvamenta, or blackmail of our own feudal system. See Vol. I. 
p. 203. 


1412 


i\NNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


their property, .some a horse, some a camel, others arms, etc. ; 
but none durst advance a claim to their own, so daring was their 
attitude and so guarded tlreir conduct. The object of the minister 
was to secure the person of Sangram, regardless of the infamy 
which woidd attach to the chief who, at his desire, had pledged 
himself for his safety. But Shyam Singh [416], who had heard 
of the plot, gave Sangram warning. In forty-eight hours, in- 
telligence reached the court that Sangram was in Tuarvati,^ 
and that, joined by the Tuars and Larkhanis, he was at the head 
of one thousand horse. He now assailed the large fiscal towns 
of his prince ; contributions were demanded, and if they could 
not be complied with, he carried off in ol (hostage) the chief 
citizens, who were afterwards ransomed. If a delay occurred 
in furnishing either, the place was instantly given over to piUage, 
which was placed upon a body of camels. The career of this 
determined Barwatia was at length closed. He had surromided 
the town of Madhopur, the estate of one of the queens, when a 
ball struck him in the head. His body was carried to Ranoli 
and burnt, and he had his cenotaph amongst the Jujhars * (those 
slain in battle) of his fathers. The son of Sangram succeeded to 
the command and the revenge of his father, and he continued the 
same daring course, until the court restored his patrimony of 
Sujawas. Such were the tumultuous proceedings in Shaikhavati, 
when an event of such magnitude occurred as to prove an epoch 
in the history of Rajputana, and which not only was like oil 
effused upon their afflictions, but made them prominent to their 
own benefit in the transaction. 

The War on account of Krishna Kunwari. — That grand inter- 
national war, ostensibly for the hand of the Helen of Rajwara, 
was on the point of bursting forth. The opening scene was in 
Shaikhavati, and the actors chiefly Sadhanis. It will be recol- 
lected, that though this was but the underplot of a tragedy, 
chiefly got up for the deposal of Raja Man of Jodhpur, in favour 
of Dhonkal Singh, Raechand was then Diwan, or prime minister, 
of Jaipur ; and to forward his master’s views for the hand of 
Krishna, supported the cause of the pretender. 

New Treaty with Jaipur. — ^The minister sent his nephew, 

^ [See Vol. II. p. 876.] 

® [Such cenotaphs, known as paliya, are common in Gujarat (Forbes 
Has Mala, 691 ; Tod, Ifes(ern India, 301).] 



THE SHAIKHAWATS JOIN THE WAR 


1H3 


Kirparam, to obtain the aid of the Shaikhawats, who appointed 
Kishan Singh as interpreter of their wishes, while the Kher ^ 

. assembled at ‘ the Pass of Udaipur.’ There a new treaty 
was formed, the main article of which was the liberation of their 
chieftains, the joint Rajas of Khandela, and the renewal of the 
ancient stipulations regarding the non-interference of the court 
in their internal arrangements, so long as they paid the regulated 
tribute. Kishan Singh, the organ of the confederation, together 
with Kirparam, left the assembly for the capital, where they soon 
returned with the ratification of their wishes. On these condi- 
tions ten thousand of the sons of Shaikhji were embodied, and 
ready to accompany their lord-paramount wherever he might 
lead them, receiving peti, or subsistence, while out of their own 
lands. 

These preliminaries settled, Shyam Singh Cham])awat (nephew 
of the Pokaran [417] chief), with Kirparam repaired to Khetri, 
whence they conveyed the young pretender, Dhonkal Singh, to 
the camp of the confederates. They were met by a deputation 
headed by the princess Anandi Kunwar (daughter of the late 
Raja Partap, and one of the widows of Raja Bhim of Marwar, 
father of the pretender), who received the boy in her arms as the 
child of her adoption, and forthwith returned to the capital, 
where the army was forming for the invasion of Marwar. 

It moved to Khatu, ten coss from Kliandela, where they 
waited the junction of the Bikaner Raja and other auxiliaries. 
The Shaikhawat lords here sent in their imperative demand for 
the liberation of the sons of Raesal, “ that they might march 
s under a leader of their own, equal in celebrity to the proudest of 
4 that assembled host.” Evasion was dangerous ; and in a few 
days their chiefs were formally delivered to them. Even the 
if self-abdicated Bindraban could not resist this general appeal to 
arms. The princes encamped in the midst of their vassals, nor 
was there ever such a convocation of ‘ the sons of Shaikhji ’ : 
Raesalots, Sadhanis, Bhojanis, Larkhanis, and even the Bar- 
watias, flocked around the ‘ yellow banner of Raesal.’ The 
accounts of the expedition are elsewhere narrated,^ and we shall 
only add that the Shaikhawats participated in all its glory and 

I all its disgrace,^ and lost both Rao Narsingh and his father ere 
they returned to their own lands. 

^ [Tribal levy.] 


[Vol. II p. 1095.] 



J414 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Abhai Singh. — Abhai Singh, the son of Narsingli, succeeded, 
and conducted the contingent of his countrymen until the ill- 
starred expedition broke up, when they returned to Khandela. 
But the faithless court had no intention of restoring the lands of 
Khandela. Compelled to look about for a subsistence, with one 
hundred and fifty horse, they went to Raja Bakhtawar Singh of 
Maeheri : but he performed the duties of kindred and hospitality 
so meanly, that they only remained a fortnight. In this exigence, 
Partap and his son repaired to the Mahratta leader, Bapu Sindhia, 
at Dausa,' while Hanwant, in the ancient spirit of his race, deter- 
mined to .attempt Govindgarh. In disguise, he obtained the 
necessary information, assen)bled sixty of his resolute clansmen, 
whom he concealed at dusk in a ravine, whence, as soon as silence 
proclaimed the hour was come, he issued, ascended the well- 
known path, planted his ladders, .and cut down the sentinels ere 
the garrison was alarmed. It was soon mastered, several being 
killed and the rest turned out. The w’ell-known beat of the 
Raesalot nakkara- awoke the Larkhanis, Minas, and all the 
Rajputs in the xdcinity, who immediately repaired to the castle. 
In a few w-eeks the gallant Hanwant was at the head of two 
thousand men, jirejjared to act offensively against [418] his 
faithless liege lord. Khandela and all the adjacent towns sur- 
rendered, their garrisons flying before the victors, and Khushhal 
Daroga, a name of note in all the intrigues of the darbar of that 
day, carried to court the tidings of his own disgrace, which, his 
enemies took care to proclaim, arose from his cupidity : for 
though he drew pay and rations for a garrison of one hundred 
men, he only had thirty. Accompanied by Ratan Chand, with 
two battalions and guns, and the reproaches of his sovereign, he 
was cojnmanded at his peril to recover Khandela. The gallant 
Hanwant disdained to await the attack, but advanced outside 
the city to meet it, drove Khushlial back, and had he not in the 
very moment of victory been wounded, w hile the Larkhanis hung 
behind, would have totally routed them. Hanwant was com- 
pelled to retreat within the walls, where he stood two assaults, 
in one of which he slew thirty Silahposh, or men in armour, the 
body-guard of the prince ; but the only water of the garrison 
being from iankhas (reservoirs), he was on the point of surrender- 


^ [Twenty-five miles E. of Jaipur city.] 



ABHAI SINGH 


1415 


ing at discretion, when an offer of five townsliips being made, he 
accepted the towns. 

Another change took place in the ministry of Amber at this 
period ; and Khushhaliram, at the age of fourscore and four years, 
was liberated from the state-prison of Amber, and once more 
entrusted with the administration of the government. This 
hoary-headed politician, who, during more than half a century, 
liad alternately met the frowns and the smiles pf his prince, at 
this the extreme verge of existence, entered with all the alacrity 
of youth into the tortuous intrigues of office, after witnessing the 
removal of two prime ministers, his rivals, who resigned power and 
life together. Khushhaliram had remained incarcerated since the 
reign of Raja Partap, who, when dying, left three injunctions ; 
the first of which was, that ‘ the Bohra ’ (his caste) should never 
be enfranchised ; but if in evil hour his successor sliould be induced 
to liberate him “ he should be placed uncontrolled at the head of 
affairs.” ^ 

When this veteran politician, whose biography would fill a 
volume,® succeeded to the helm at Jaipur, a solemn deputation of 
the principal Shaikhawat chieftains repaired to the capital, and 
begged that through his intercession they might be restored to 
the lands of their forefathers. The Bohra, who had always kept 
up, as well from [419] sound principle as from personal feeling, a 
good understanding with the feudality, willingly became their 
advocate with his sovereign, to whom he represented that the 
defence of the State lay in a willing and contented vassalage ; 
for, notwithstanding their disobedience and turbulence, they 
were always ready, when the general weal was threatened, to 
support it with all their power. He appealed to the late expedi- 
tion, when ten thousand of the children of Shaikhji were embodied 

® The second injunction was to keep the office of Fanjdar, or commander 
of the forces, in the family of Shambhu Singh, Gugawat, a tribe always noted 
for their fidelity, and like the Mertias of Marwar, even a blind fidelity, to 
the gaddi whoever was the occupant. The third injunction is left blank 
in my manuscript. 

® His first act, after his emancipation from the dungeons of Amber, was 
the delicate negotiation at Hhani, the castle of Chand Singh, Gugawat. He 
died at Baswa, April 22, 1812, on his return from Macheri to Jaipur, where 
he had been unsuccessfully attemptmg a reconciliation between the courts. 
It will not be forgotten that the independence of the Naruka chief in Macheri 
had been mainly achieved by the Bohra, who was originally the homme 
d'affaires of the traitorous Naruka. 



1410 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


in his cause, and what was a better argument, he observed, the 
INIahrattas liad onl\- been able to prevail .since their dissensions 
amongst themselves. The Bohra was commanded to follow his 
own goodwill and pleasure ; and ha^•ing evaded an engagement, 
by which the future tribute of the Raesalots was fixed at sixty 
thousand rupees annually, and the immediate payment of a 
nazarana of forty thousand, fresh pattas of investiture w'ere made 
out for Khandela and its dependencies. There are so many 
conflicting interests in all these courts, that it by no means follows 
that obedience runs on the heels of command ; even though the 
orders of the prince were countersigned by the minister, the 
Nagas,^ who formed the garrison of Khandela. and the inferior 
fiefs, showed no disposition to comply. The gallant Hanwant, 
justly suspecting the Bohra’s good faith, proposed to the Joint 
rajas a coup de main, which he volunteered to lead. Thej^ had 
five hundred retainers amongst them ; of these Hanwant selected 
twenty of the most intrepid, and repaired to Udaigarh, to which 
he gained admission as a messenger from himself ; twenty more 
were at his heels, who also got in, and the rest rapidly following, 
took post at the gateway. Hanwant then disclosed himself, and 
presented the fresh patta of Khandela to the Nagas, who still 
hesitating to obey, he drew his sw'ord, when seeing that he was 
determined to succeed or perish, they reluctantly withdrew, and 
Abhai and Partap were once more inducted into the dilapidated 
abodes of their ancestors. The adversity they had undergone) 
added to their youth and inexperience, made them both jield a 
ready acquiescence to tl.e advice of their kinsman, to whose 
valour and conduct they owed the restoration of their inheritance, 
and the ancient feuds, which were marked on every stone of their 
castellated mahalls, were apparently appeased. 

The Shaikhawats attack Amir Khan. — Shortly after this 
restoration, the Shaikhawat contingents were called out to serve 
against the common enemy of Rajputana, the notorious Amir 
Khan, whose general, Muhammad Shah Klian, w'as closely 
blockaded in the fortress of Bhumgarh, near Tonk, bj' the whole 
strength of Jaipur, commanded by Rao Chand Singh of Dhani 

•r 

^ [These corps of militant devotees were commonly employed in Indian 
Native armies in the eighteenth century (Irvine, Army of the Indian MoghuU, 
163 ; Broughton, Letters from a Mahratta Cam'p, 96, 106, 123 ; Russell, 
Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces, iii. 157).] 



THE SHAIKHAWATS ATTACK AMiR KHAN 1417 


An incident occurred, while the siege was approaching a successful 
conclusion, which [420] well exemplifies the incorrigible imperfec- 
tions of the feudal system, either for offensive or defensive opera- 
- tions. This incident, trivial as it is in its origin, proved a death- 
blow to these unfortunate princes, so long the sport of injustice, 
and appears destined to falsify the Dom, who prophesied, on the 
acceptance of his self-sacrifice, that seven successive generations 
of his issue should occupy the gaddi of Khandela. In the dis- 
^ orderly proceedings of this feudal array, composed of all the 
quotas of Amber, a body of Shaikhawats had sacked one of the 
townships of Tonk, in which a Gugawat inhabitant was slain, and 
his property plundered, in the indiscriminate pell-mell. The 
son of the Gugawat instantly carried his complaints to the be- 
sieging general, Chand Singh, the head of his clan, who gave him 
a party of the Silahposh (men in armour) to recover his property. 
The Shaikhawats resisted, and reinforced their party ; Chand 
Singh did the same ; the Khandela chiefs repaired in person, 
accompanied by the whole confederacy with the exception of 
Sikar : and the Gugawat chief, who had not only the ties of 
clanship, but the dignity of commander-in-chief, to sustain, sent 
every man he could spare from the blockade. Thus nearly the 
whole feudal array of Amber was collected round a few hackeries ^ 
(carts), ready to cut each other to pieces for the point of honour : 
neither would relinquish the claim, and swords were already 
drawn, when the Khangarot chief stepped between them as 
^peacemaker, and proposed an expedient which saved the honour 
of both, namely, that the plundered property should be permitted 
to proceed to its destination, the Khandela prince’s quarters, 
who should transmit it, “ of his own accord,” to the commander- 
in-chief of the army. The Shaikhawats assented ; the havoc 
was prevented ; but the pride of Chand Singh was hurt, who 
* saw in this a concession to the commander of the army, but none 
to the leader of the Gugawats. 

I Lachhman Singh, the chief of Sikar, who, as before stated, 
, was the only Shaikhawat who kept aloof from the affray, saw the 
moment was arrived for the accomplishment of his long-con- 
"cealed desire to be lord of Khandela. The siege of Bhumgarh 
being broken up, in consequence of these dissensions and the 
iefection of the confederated Shaikhawats, the Sikar chief no 

^ [A corruption of Hindi chhahra (Yule, Hobson- Jobson^ 2nd ed. 407 f.).] 
VOL. Ill 



1418 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


sooner saw them move by the circuitous route of the capital, 
than he marched directly for his estates, and throwing aside all 
disguise, attacked Sisa, which by an infamous stratagem he 
secured, by inveigling the commandant, the son of the late Bohra 
minister. Then making overtures to the enemy, against whom 
he had just been fighting, for the sum of two lakhs of rupees, he 
obtained a brigade of the mercenary Pathans, under their leaders 
INIanu and IMahtab Khan [421], the last of whom, but a few days 
before, had entered into a solemn engagement with Hanwant, as . 
manager for the minor princes, to support whose cause, and to 
abstain from molesting their estates, he had received fifty thousand 
rupees ! Such nefarious acts w'cre too common at that period 
even to occasion remark, far less reprehension. 

Siege of Khandela. — The gallant Hanwant now prepared for 
the defence of the lands which his valour had redeemed. His 
foeman made a lavish application of the wealth which his selfish 
policy had acquired, and Rewasa and other fiefs were soon in his 
possession. The town of Khandela, being open, soon followed, 
but the castle held out sufficiently long to enable him to strengthen 
and provision Kot, which he determined to defend to the last. ^ 
Having withstood the attacks of the enemy, during three weeks, 
in the almost ruined castle, he sallied out sword in hand, and 
gained Kot, where he assembled all those yet faithful to the 
family, and determined to stand or fall with the last stronghold 
of Khandela. The other chiefs of the confederation beheld with 
indignation this unprovoked and avaricious aggression on the- 
minor princes of Khandela, not only because of its abstract 
injustice, but of the undue aggrandizement of this inferior branch 
of the Raesalots, and the means employed, namely, the common 
enemy of their country. Many leagued for its prevention, but 
some were bribed by the offer of a part of the domain, and those 
who were too virtuous to be corrupted, foxmd their intentions 
defeated by the necessity of defending their own homes against 
the detachments of Amir Khan, sent by desire of Sikar to neutralize 
their efforts. The court was steeled against all remonstrance, 
from the unhappy rupture at Bhumgarh, the blockade of which, 
it was represented, was broken by the conduct of the followers of'^ 
Khandela. 

Death of Hanwant Singh. — Hanwant and some hundreds of 
his brave clansmen were thus left to their own resources. During 



DEATH OF HANWANT SINGH 


1419 


three months they defended themselves in a position outside the 
castle, when a general assault was made on his intrenchments. 
He was advised to retreat into the castle, but he nobly replied, 
“ Kliandela is gone for ever, if we are reduced to shelter ourselves 
behind walls ” ; and he called upon his brethren to repel the 
attack or perish. Hanwant cheered on his kinsmen, who charged 
the battalions sword in hand, drove them from their guns, and 
completely cleared the intrenchments. But the enemy relumed 
to the conflict, which lasted from morn until nightfall. Another 
sortie was made ; again the enemy was ignominiously dislodged, 
b)it the gallant Hanwant, leading his men to the very muzzle of 
the guns, received a shot which ended his career. The victory 
remained with the besieged, but the death of their leader [422] 
' disconcerted his clansmen, who retired within the fort. Five 
hundred of the mercenary Pathans and men of Sikar (a number 
equal to the whole of the defenders) accompanied to the shades 
the last intrepid Raesalot of Khandela. 

The next morning an armistice for the removal of the wounded 
and obsequies of the dead was agreed to, during which terms 
were offered, and refused by the garrison. As soon as the death 
of Hanwant was known, the Udaipur chief, who from the first 
had upheld the cause of justice, sent additional aid both in men 
and supplies ; and had the Khetri chief been at his estates, the 
cause would have been further supported ; but he was at court, 
and had left orders with his son to act according to the advice of 
, the chief of Baswa, who had been gained over to the interests of 
Sikar by the bribe of participation in the conquered lands. Never- 
theless, the garrison held out, under every privation, for five 
I weeks longer, their only sustenance at length being a little Indian 
' com introduced by the exertions of individual Minas.* At this 
extremity, an offer being made of ten townships, they surrendered. 
Partap Singh took his share of this remnant of his patrimony, but 
his co-heir Abhai Singh inherited too much of RaesaPs spirit to 
degrade himself by owing aught to his criminal vassal and kins- 
man. It would have been well for Partap had he shown the same 
t spirit ; lor Lachhman Singh, now lord of Khandela, felt too 
~ acutely the injustice of his success, to allow the rightful heir to 
remain upon his patrimony ; and he only allowed sufficient time 
; to elapse for the consolidation of his acquisition, before he expelled 
, the young prince. Both the co-heirs, Abhai Singh and Partap, 

! 

5 



1420 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


now reside at Jhunjhunii, where each receives five rupees a day^ 
from a joint purse made for them by the Sadhanis, nor at present * 
is there a ray of hope of their restoration to Kliandela. 

In 1814, when Misr Sheonarayan, then minister of Jaipur, was 
involved in great pecuniary difficulties, to get rid of the im- 
portunities of Amir Khan, he cast his eyes towards the Sikar 
chief, who had long been desirous to have his usurpation sanctioned 
by the court ; and it was stipulated that on the payment of nine 
lakhs of rupees (namely, five from himself, with the authority and 
force of Jaipur to raise the rest from the Sadhanis), he should 
receive the patta of investiture of Kliandela. Amir Khan, the 
mutual agent on this occasion, was then at Ranoli, where Lachh- 
man Singh met him and paid the amount, receiving his receipt, 
which was exchanged for the grant under the great seal. ^ 

Lachhman Singh gains Influence at Jaipur. — Immediately 
after, Lachhman Singh proceeded to court, and upon the further 
payment [423] of one year's tribute in advance, henceforth fixed 
at fifty-seven thousand rupees, he received from the hands of liis 
liege lord, the Raja Jagat Singh, the khilat of investiture. Thus, 
by the ambition of Sikar, the cupidity of the court, and the 
jealousies and avarice of the Sadhanis, the birthright of the lineal 
heirs of Raesal was alienated. 

Laehliman Singh, by his talents and wealth, soon established 
his influence at the court of his sovereign ; but the jealousy which 
this excited in the Purohit minister of the day very nearly lost 
him his dearly bought acquisition. It will be recollected that a 
Brahman obtained the lease of the lands of Kliandela, and tii^ 
for his extortions he was expelled with disgrace. He proceeded, 
however, in his career of ambition ; subverted the influence of 
his patron Sheonarayan Misr, forcing him to commit suicide, 
ruined the prospects of his son, and by successful and daring 
intrigue established himself in the ministerial chair of Amber. 
The influence of Lachhman Singh, who was consulted on all 
occasions, gave him umbrage, and he determined to get rid of 
him. To dri\e him into opposition to his sovereign was his aim, 
and to effect this there was no better method than to sanction 
an attack upon Khandela. The Sadhanis, whose avarice and 
jealousies made them overlook their true interests, readily united 
to the troops of the court, and Khandela was besieged. Lachh- 




* This was written in 1813-14. 


LACHHAIAN SINGIl AT JAIPUR 


1421 


man Singh, on this occasion, showed he was no common character. 
He tranquilly abided the issue at Jaipur, thus neutralizing the 
_ malignity of the Puroliit, while, to ensure the safety of Khandela, 
a timely supply of money to the partisan, Jamshid Khan, brought 
his battalions to threaten the Purohit in his camp. Completely 
foiled by the superior tact of Laehhman Singh, the Brahman was 
compelled to abandon the undertaking and to return to the 
capital, where his anger made him throw aside the mask, and 
'■ attempt to secure the person of his enemy. The Sikar chief had 
a narrow escape : he fled with fifty horse, hotly pursued by his 
adversary, while his effects, and those of his partisans (amongst 
whom was the Samod chief) were confiscated. The Sadhanis, 
,,led by the chiefs of Khetri and Baswa, even after the Purohit 
had left them, made a bold attempt to capture Ivliandela, which 
was defeated, and young Abhai Singh, who was made a puppet 
on the occasion, witnessed the last defeat of his hopes. 

If necessity or expediency could palliate or justify such 
nefarious acts, it would be shown in the good consequences that 
have resulted from evil. The discord and bloodshed produced 
by the partition of authority between the sons of Bahadur [424] 
Singh are now at an end. Laehhman Singh is the sole tyrant in 
Ivhandela, and so long as the system which he has estabhshed is 
maintained, he may laugh at the efl'orts, not only of the Sadhanis, 
but of the court itself, to supplant him. 

Let us, in a few words, trace the family of Lachlunan Singh. 

'It will be recollected that Raesal, the first Raja amongst the sons 
of Shaikhji, had seven sons, the fourth of whom, Tirmall (who 
obtained the title of Rao), held KasU and its eighty-four town- 
ships in appanage. His son, Hari Singh, wrested the district of 
Bilara, with its one hundred and twenty-five townships, from the 
Kaimkhanis of Fatehpur, and shortly after, twenty-five more 
from Rewasa. Sheo Singh, the son of Hari, captured Fatehpur 
itself, the chief abode of the Kaimkhanis, where he established 
himself. His son, Chand Singh, founded Sikar, whose lineal 
descendant, Devi Singh, adopted Laehhman Singh, son of his 
_ near kinsman, the Shahpina Thakur. The estates of Sikar were 
in admirable order when Laehhman succeeded to his imcle, whose 
pohey was of the exterminating sort. Laehhman improved upon 
it ; and long before he acquired Khandela, had demolished all the 
castles of his inferior feudatories, not even sparing that of Shah- 


1422 


ANNA1.S OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


pura, the place of his nativity, as well as BUara,- Bathoti, and 
Kash ; and so completely did he allow the ties of adoption to 
supersede those of blood, that his own father preferred exile, to 
living under a son who, covered with ‘ the turban of Sikar,’ 
forgot the author of his hfe, and retired to Jodhpur. 

Lachhman Singh has now a compact and improving country, 
cont aining live himdred towns and villages, yielding a revenue 
of eight laklis of rupees. Desirous of transmitting liis name 
to posterity, he erected the castle of Lachluhangarh,^ and has - 
fortified many other strongholds, for the defence of which he has 
formed a httle army, which, in these regions, merits the title of 
regulars, consisting of eight battahons of Aligol,^ armed with 
matchlocks, with a brigade of guns to each battalion. He has^ 
besides an efficient cavalry, consisting of one thousand horse, half ' 
of which are Bargirs,® or stipendiary ; the other half Jagirdars, 
having lands assigned for their support. With such means, and 
with his ambition, there is very httle doubt that, had not the 
alhance of his liege lord of Amber with the EngUsh Government 
put a stop to the predatory systenf, he would, by means of the 
same worthy aUies by whose [425j aid he obtained Khandela, 
before this time have made himself supreme in Shaikhavati. 

Having thus brought to a conclusion the history of the princes 
of Ediandela, we shall give a brief account of the other branches 
of the Shaikhawats, especially the most powerful, the Sadhani. 

The Sadhani Shaikhawats. — The Sadhanis are descended from 
Bhojraj, the third son of Raesal, and in the division of fief^'-** 

^ Lachhmangarh, or ‘ the castle of Iiachhman,’ situated upon a lofty 
mountain [about 75 miles N.W. of Jaipur city], was erected in S. 1862, or 
A.D. 1806, though probably on the ruins of some more ancient fortress. It 
commands a most extensive prospect, and is quite a beacon in that country, 
studded with hill-castles. The town is buUt on the model of Jaipur, with 
regular streets intersecting each other at right angles, in which there are- 
many wealthy merchants, who enjoy perfect security. 

^ [The 'Aligol, ‘lofty, exalted troop,’ were irregular infantry in the 
Maratha service. Sometimes they were identified with the fanatical 
Ghazis of the Afghan frontier (Irvme, Army of the Indian Moghuls, 164 ; 
Yule, Hobson- J obson, 2nd ed. 15).] 

" [Cavalry provided with horses by the State, Vol. II. p. 819.] 

^ Khandela is said to have derived its name from the Khokhar Eajputs [ /]. 

The Khokhar is often mentioned in the Bhatti Annals, whom I have supposed 
to be the Ghakkar, who were certainly Indo-Soythic. [The Khokhars and 
Ghakkars or Gakkhars are often confounded (Bose, Glossary, ii. 540).] 
Khandela has four thousand houses, and eighty villages dependent on it. 



1423 


THE SADHANI SpAIKHAWATS 

amongst his seven sons, obtained Udaipur and its dependencies. 
Bhojraj had a numerous issue, styled Bhojani, who arrogated 
their full share of importance in the infancy of the confederacy, 
and in process of time, from some circumstance not related, 
perhaps the mere advantage of locality, their chief city became 
the rendezvous for the great council of the federation, which is 
still in the defile of Udaipur.^ 

Several generations subsequent to Bhojraj, Jagram suc- 
ceeded to the lands of Udaipur. He had six sons, the eldest 
of whom, Sadhu, quarrelled with his father, on some ceremonial 
connected with the celebration of the military festival, the 
Dasahra,^ and quitting the paternal roof, sought his fortunes 
abroad. At this time, almost all the tract now inhabited by the 
Sadhanis was dependent on Fatehpur (Jhunjhunu), the residence 
of a Nawab of the Kaimkhani tribe of Afghans,® who held it as 
a fief of the empire. To him Sadhu repaired, and was received 
with favour, and by his talents and courage rose in consideration, 
until he was eventually intrusted with the entire management of 
affairs. There are two accounts of the mode of liis ulterior 
advancement : both may be correct. One is, that the Nawab, 
having no children, adopted young Sadhu, and assigned to him 
Jhunjhunu and its eighty-four dependencies, which he retained 
on the Kaimkhani’s death. The other, and less favomable though 
equally probable account, is that, feeling his influence firmly 

estabhshed, he hinted to his patron, that the township of 

was prepared for his future residence, where he should enjoy a 
sufficient pension, as he intended to retain possession of his 
delegated authority. So completely had he supplanted the 
Kaimkliani, that he found himself utterly rmable to make a party 
against the ungrateful Shaikhawat. He therefore fled from 
Jhunjhunu to Fatehpm, the other division of his authority, or 
at [426] least one of his own kin, who espoused Ms cause, and 
prepared to expel the traitor from Jhunjhunu. Sadhu, in this 

® The ancient name of Udaipur is said to be Kais ; it contains three 
thousand houses’, and has forty-five villages attached to it, divided into 
four portions. 

® [See Vol. II. p. 680.] 

® [The Kaimkhani or Qaimkhani are a sept of Mushm Chauhan Kajputs 
found in the Jind State and in Jaipiir (Rose, Glossary, iii. 257). In the 
Rdjputana Census Report of 1911, however, they are classed among 
“ Miscellaneous ” Rajput septs (i. 286).] 


1424 


ANNALS OF AJIBER OR JAIPUR 

emergency, applied to his father, requesting him to call upon liis 
brethren, as it was a common cause. The old chief, who, in his 
son’s success, forgave and forgot the conduct which made him 
leave his roof, instantly addressed another son, then serving with 
his hege lord, the Mirza Raja Jai Singh, in the imperial army, to 
obtain succour for him ; and some regular troops with guns were 
immediately dispatched to reinforce young Sadhu and maintain 
his usurpation, wliich was accomplished, and moreover Fatehpur 
was added to Jliunjhunu. Sadhu bestowed the former with its 
dependencies, equal in value to liis own share, on his brother, for 
his timely aid, and both, according to previous stipulation, agreed 
to acknowledge their obligations to the Raja by an annual tribute 
and nazarana on all lapses, as lord-paramount. Sadhu soon 
after wrested Singhana, containing one hundred and twenty-five 
villages, from another branch of the Kaimkhanis ; Sultana, with 
its Chaurasi, or division of eighty-four townships, from the Gaur 
Rajputs ; and Khetri and its dependencies from the Tuars, the 
descendants of the ancient emperors of Delhi : so that, in process 
of time, he possessed himself of a territory comprising more than 
one thousand towns and %’illages. Shortly before his death he 
divided the conquered lands amongst his five sons, whose descend- 
ants, adopting his name as the patronymic, are called Sadhani ; 
namely, Zorawar Singh, Kishan Singh, Nawal Singh, Kesari Singh, 
and Pahar Singh. 

Zorawar Singh, besides the paternal and original estates, had, 
in virtue of primogeniture, the town of Chokri and its twelve 
subordinate villages, with all the other emblems of state, as the 
elephants, palkis, etc. ; and although the cupidTiy of the Khetri 
chief, the descendant of the second son, Kishan, has arrested the 
patrimony from the elder branch, who has now only Chokri. yet 
the distinctions of birth are never lost in those of fortune, and the 
petty chief of Chokri, with its twelve small townships, is looked 
upon as the superior of Abhai Singh, though the lord of five 
hundred villages. 

The descendants of the other four sons, now 'the most dis- 
tinguished of the Sadhanis, are,^ 

Abhai Singh of Klietri ; 

Shyam Singh of Baswa ; 

^ It must be borne in mind that this was written in 1814. 


THE SADHANI SHAIKHAWATS 


1425 


Cyan Singh of Nawalgarh ; ’ 

Sher Singh of Sultana [427]. 

Besides the patrimonies assigned to the five sons of Sadhu, 
he left the districts of Singhana, Jhunjhunu, and Surajgarh (the 
ancient Oricha), to be held in joint heirship by the junior merhbers 
of his stock. The first, with its one hundred and twenty-five 
villages, has been usurped by Abhai Singh of Khetri, but the others 
still continue to be frittered aw.ay in sub-infeudations among this 
numerous and ever-spreading frerage. 

Abhai Singh has assumed the same importance amongst the 
Sadhanis that Lachhman Singh has amongst the Racsalots, and 
both by the same means, crime and usurpation. The Sikar chief 
has despoiled his senior branch of Khandela ; and the Khetri chief 
has not only despoiled the senior, but also the junior, of the five 
branches of Sadhu. The transaction which produced the last 
result, whereby the descendant of Sher Singh lost Sultana, is so 
peculiarly atrocious, that it is worth relating, as a proof to what 
lengths the Rajput will go ‘ to get land.’ 

Bagh Singh seizes Sultana. — Pahar Singh had an only son, 
named Bhopal, who being killed in an attempt on Loharu, he 
adopted the younger son of his nephew, Bagh Singh of Khetri. 
On the death of his adopted father, the Sultana chief, being too 
yoimg to undertake the management of his fief in person, re- 
mained under the paternal roof. It would appear as if this aliena- 
tion of political rights could also alienate affection and rupture 
all the ties of kindred, for this unnatural father imbrued his 
hands in the blood of his own child, and aimexed Sultana to 
Khetri. But the monster grievously suffered for the deed ; he 
became the scorn of his kinsmen, “ who spit at him and threw 
dust on his head,” until he secluded himself from the gaze of 
mankind. The wife of his bosom ever after refused to look upon 
him ; she managed the estates for her surviving son, the present 
Abhai Singh. During twelve years that Bagh Singh survived, 
he never quitted his apartment in the castle of Khetri, until 
carried out to be burned, amidst the execrations and contempt of 
his kinsmen. 

^ Xawalgarh contains four thousand houses, environed by a shahrpanah 
or rampart. It is on a more ancient site called Kolani, whose old castle in 
ruins is to the south-east, and the new one midway between it and the town, 
built by Nawal Singh in S. 1802, or a.d. 1746. 



1426 ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 

The Larkhanis. — Having made the reader sufficiently ac- 
quainted with the genealogy of the Sadhanis, as well as of the 
Raesalots, we shall conclude with a brief notice of the Larkhanis, 
which term, translated ‘the beloved lords,’ ill accords with 
their occupation, as the most notorious marauders in Rajputana. 
Larla is a common infantine appellation, meaning ‘ beloved ’ ; 
but whether the adjunct of Klian to this son of Raesal, as well 
as to that of his youngest, Tajkhan (the crown of princes), was 
out of comphment to some other Muslim saint, we know not. 
Larkhan conquered his own [428] appanage, Danta Ramgarh, on 
the frontiers of Marwar, then a dependency of Sambhar. It is 
not unlikely that his father’s influence at court secured the 
possession to him. Besides this district, they have the tappa of 
Nosal, and altogether about eighty townships, including some 
held of the Rajas of Marwar, and Bikaner, to secure their ab- 
stinence from plunder within their bounds. The Larkhanis are 
a conununity of robbers ; their name, like Pindari and Kazzak, 
is held in these regions to be synonymous with ‘ freebooter,’ and 
as they can muster five hundred horse, their raids are rather 
formidable, bometunes their nominal liege lord calls upon them 
for tribute, but being in a difficult country, and Ramgarh being 
a place of strength, they pay Uttle regard to the call, unless backed 
by some of the mercenary partisans, such as Amir who 

contrived to get payment of arrears of tribute to the amount of 
twenty thousand rupees. 

Revenues. We conclude this sketch with a rough statement 
of the revenues of Shaikhavati, which might yield in peace and 
prosperity, now for the first time beginning to beam upon them, 
from twenty-five to thirty lakhs of rupees ; but at present they 
faU much short of this sum, and full one-half of the lands of the 
confederation are held by the chiefs of Sikar and Khetri— 

Lachliinan Singh, of Sikar, including Khandela 
Abhai Singh, of Khetri, including KotputU, given by 
Lord Lake . . . _ 

Shyam Singh, of Baswa, including his brother Ranjit's 
share of 40,000 (whom he killed) 

Cyan Singh, of Nawalgarh, including Mandao, each 
fifty villages .... 

Carry forward . 


Ilupees. 

800,000 

600,000 

190,000 

70,000 

1,660,000 



REVENUES 1427 

Rupees. 

Brought forward . . . 1,660,000 

Lachhman Singh, Mendsar, the chief sub-infeudation 

of Nawalgarh ....... 30,000 

Tain and its lands, divided amongst the twenty-seven 
great-grandsons of Zorawar Singh, eldest son of 

Sadhu 100,000 

Udaipurvati ....... 100,000 

Manoharpur ^ ...... . 30,000 

Larkhanis ........ 100,000 

Harramjis *........ 40,000 

Girdliarpotas ....... 40,000 

Smaller estates ....... 200,000 


2,300,000 

[420.] 


The tribute established by Jaipur is as follows : — 


Sadhanis 



Hupees. 

. 200,000 

Khandela . 



60,000 

Fatehpur 



64,000 

Udaipur and Babhai 



22,000 

Kasli .... 



4,000 




350,000 


Thus, supposing the revenues, as stated, at twenty-three lakhs, 
to be near the truth, and*the tribute at three and a half, it would 
be an assessment of one-seventh of the whole, which is a fair 
proportion, and a measure of justice which the British Govern- 
ment would do well to imitate. 

The Manoharpur chief was put to death by Baja Jagat Singh (vide 
Sladari LaTs Journal of a.d. 1814), and his lands were sec[uestrated and 
partitioned amongst the confederacy : the cause, his inciting the Rahtis or 
Ratis (an epithet for the proselyte Bhatti plunderers of Bhattiana) to invade 
and plunder the country. 



1428 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


CHAPTER 8 

Wji liave thus developed the origin and jirogrcss of the Kachh- 
waha tribe, as well as its scions of Shaikhavati and Maeheri. To 
some, at least, it may be deemed no uninteresting object to trace 
in continuity the issue of a fugitive individual, spreading, in the 
course of eight hundred years, over a region of fifteen thousand 
square miles ; and to know that forty thousand of his flesh and 
blood have been marshalled in the same field, defending, sword 
in hand, their country and their prince. The name of ‘ country ’ 
carries with it a magical power in the mind of the Rajput. The 
name of his wife or his mistress must never be mentioned at all, 
nor that of Iris country but with respect, or his sword is instantly 
unsheathed. Of these facts, numerous instances abound in these 
Annals ; yet does the ignorant Pardesi (foreigner) venture to say 
there are no indigenous terms either for patriotism or gratitude 
in this country. 

Boundaries and Extent. — The boundaries of Amber and its 
dependencies are best seen by an inspection of the map. Its 
greatest breadth lies between Sambhar, toucliing the Marwar 
frontier on the west, and the town of Suraut, on the Jat frontier, 
east. This line is one hundred .and twenty British miles, whilst 
its greatest breadth from north to south, including Shaikhavati, 
is one hundred and eighty. Its form is [430] very irregular,^ We 
may, however, estimate the surface of the parent State, Dhundhar 
or Jaipur, at nine thousand five hundred square miles, and 
Shaikhavati at five thousand four hundred ; in all, fourteen 
thousand nine hundred square miles.' , 

Population. — It is difficult to determine with exactitude the 
amount of the population of this region ; but from the best in- 
formation, one hundred and fifty souls to the square mile would 
not be too great a proportion in Amber, and eighty in Shaikha- 
vati ; giving an average of one hundred and twenty-four to the 
united area, which consequently contains 185,670 ; and when 
we consider the very great number of large towns in this region, 
it may not be above, but rather below, the truth. Dhundhar, 
the parent country, is calculated to contain four thousand town- 

' [The area of the Jaipur State, according to the last surveys, is 15,579 
square miles.] 



TRIBES OF JAIPUR 


1429 




V 


i 


ships, exclusive of punvas, or hamlets, and Shaikhavati about 
half that number, of which Laehhman Singh of Sikar and Khan- 
dela, and Abhai Singh of Khetri, have each about five hundred, 
or the half of the lands of the federation.^ 

Classification of Inhabitants. — Of this population, it is still 
more difficult to classify its varied parts, although it may be 
asserted with confidence that the Rajputs bear but a small ratio 
to the rest,^ whilst they may equal in number any individual 
class, except the aboriginal Minas, who, strange to say, are still 
the most numerous. The following are the principal tribes, and 
the order in which they follow ma 5 '^ be considered as indicative 
of their relative numbers. 1. Minas ; 2. Rajputs ; 3. Brahmans ; 
4. Banias ; 5. Jats ; 6. Dhakar, or Kirar (qu. Kirata ?) ; 7. Gujars.* 

The Mina Tribe. — The Minas are subdi\ided into no less than 
thirty-two distinct clans or classes, but it would extend too much 
the Annals of this State to distinguish them. Moreover, as they 
belong to everj' State in Rajwara, we shall find a fitter occasion 
to give a general account of them. The immunities and privileges 
preserved to the Minas best attest the truth of the original induc- 
tion of the exiled prince of Narwar to the sovereignty of Amber ; 
and it is a curious fact, showing that such establishment must 
have been owing to adoption, not conquest, that this event was 
commemorated on every installation by a Mina of Kalikoh 
marking with his blood the tika of sovereignty on the forehead of 
the prince. The blood was obtained by incision of the great toe, 
and though, like many other antiquated usages, this has fallen 
into desuetude here (as has the same mode of inauguration of the 
Ranas by the Oghna Bhils), yet both in the one case and in the 
other, there cannot be more convincing evidence that these now 
outca.sts were originally the masters. The Minas still enjoy the 

^ [According to the census of 1911. the population of Jaipur State was 
2,636,647, 169 per square niUe.] 

^ [The proportion of Rajputs to the total population was, in 1911, 45 
per 1000.] 

® [The present order, in numbers, of the castes is — Brahmans, Jats, 
Slluas, Bhamars, Banias or Mahajans, Gujars, Rajputs, Mahs. Bhakar 
Rajputs are found in the Central Ganges-Jumna Duab, and in RohUkhand 
(Elliot, Supplementary Glossary, 263). There are now 89,000 Dhakars in 
Rajputana. Kirar is a term generally applied in the Panjab to traders to 
distinguish them from the Banias of Hindustan, and the name has no con- 
nexion with the Kirata, a forest tribe of E. India (Rose, Glossary, ii. 562 ; 
Russell. Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces, iii. 485 ff.).] 



1430 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


most confidential posts about the persons of the princes of Amber, 
having charge of the archives [431] and treasure in Jaigarh ; they 
guard his person at night, and have that most delicate of all 
trusts, the charge of the rarosala. or seraglio. In the earlier stages 
of Kachhwaha power, these their primitive subjects had the whole 
insignia of state, as well as the person of the prince, committed 
to their trust ; but presuming upon this privilege too far, when 
they insisted that, in lea^^ng their bounds, he should leav’e these 
emblems, the nakkaras and standards, with them, their preten- 
sions were cancelled in their blood. The Minas, Jats, and Kirars 
are the principal cultivators, many of them holding large estates.* 

Jats. — ^The Jats nearly equal the Minas in numbers, as well as 
in extent of possessions, and are, as u.sual, the most industrious 
of all husbandmen. 

Brahmans. — Of Brahmans, following secular as well as sacred 
employments, there are more in Amber than in any other State 
in Rajwara ; from which we are not to conclude that her princes 
were more religious than their neighbours, but, on the contrary, 
that they were greater sinners. 

Rajputs. — It is calculated that, even now, on an emergency, if 
a national war roused the patriotism of the Kachhwaha feudality, 
they could bring into the field thirty thousand of their kin and 
clan, or, to repeat their own emphatic phrase, “ the sons of one 
father,” which includes the Narukas and the chiefs of the Shaikha- 
wat federation.* Although the Kachhwahas, under their popular 
princes, as Pajun, Raja Man, and the Mirza Raja, have performed 
exploits as brilliant as any other tribes, yet they do not now enjoy 
the same reputation for courage as either the Rathors or Haras. 
This may be in part accounted for by the demoralization con- 
sequent upon their proximity to the Mogul court, and their 
participation in all enervating vices ; but still more from the 
degradations they have suffered from the Mahrattas, and to 
which their western brethren have been less exposed. Ever}' 
feeling, patriotic or domestic, became corrupted wherever their 
pernicious influence prevailed. 

Soil, Husbandry, Products. — Dhundhar contains every variety 

* [The MSnaa are a notorious criminal tribe (M. Kennedy, Notes on the 
Criminal Tribes in the Bombay Presidency, 207 If. ; C. Hervey, Some Records 
of Crime, i. 328 S.).] 

* [In 1911 there were 96,242 Kachhwahas in Rajputana, of whom about 
two-thirds are in Jaipur.] 





FARMING SYSTEM 1431 

of soil, and the kharif and rabi, or autumnal and spring crops, are 
of nearly equal importance. Of the former bajra predominates 
over juar, and in the latter barley over wheat. The other grains, 
pulses, and vegetables, reared all over Hindustan, are here pro- 
duced in abundance, and require not to be specified [432]. The 
sugar-cane used to be cultivated to a very great extent, but partly 
from extrinsic causes, and still more from its holding out such an 
allurement to the renters, the husbandman has been compelled to 
curtail this lucrative branch of agriculture ; for although land 
fit for ikh (cane) is let at four to six rupees per bigha^ sixty have 
been exacted before it was allowed to be reaped. Cotton of 
excellent quality is produced in considerable quantities in various 
districts, as are indigo and other dyes common to India. Neither 
do the implements of husbandry or their application differ from 
those which have been described in this and various other works 
sufficiently well known.' 

Farming System.— It is the practice in this State to farm its 
lands to the highest bidder ; and the mode of farming is most 
pernicious to the interests of the State and the cultivating classes, 
both of whom it must eventually impoverish. The farmers- 
general are the wealthy bankers and merchants, who make their 
offers for entire districts ; these they underlet in iappas, or sub- 
divisions, the holders of which again subdivide them into single 
villages, or even shares of a village. With the profits of all these 
persons, the expenses attending collections, quartering of barkan- 
dazes, or armed police, are the poor Bhumias and Ryots saddled. 
Could they only know the point where exaction must stop, they 
would stiff have a stimulus to activity ; but when the crops are 
nearly got in, and aU just demands satisfied, they suddenly hear 
that a new renter has been installed in the district, having ousted 
the holder by some ten or twenty thousand rupees, and at the 
precise moment when the last toffs of the husbandman were near 
completion. The renter has no remedy ; he may go and “ throw 
his turban at the door of the palace, and exclaim dohai. Raja 
Sahib ! ” till he is weary, or marched off to the Kotwal’s chabutra, 
and perhaps fined for making a disturbance.* Knowing, how- 

* [Reference may he made to the artistic industry in brass-work (Hendley, 
Jaipur Museum Catalogue •, Journal Indian Art, 1886, i. No. 12, 1891, i. 
No. 11).] 

* [Chabutra, the platform on which the Kotwal or chief police officer does 
business. For the cry dohai see Yule, Hobson- J obson, 2nd ed. 321.] 


1432 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


ever, tliat there is little benefit to be derived from such a course, 
they generally submit, go through the whole accounts, make over 
the amount of collections, and with the host of vultures in their 
train, who. never unprepared for such changes, have been making 
the most of their ephemeral power by battening on the hard 
earnings of the peasantry, retire for this fresh band of harpies to 
pursue a like course. Nay, it is far from uncommon for three 
different renters to come upon the same district in one season, 
or even the crop of one season, for five or ten thousand rupees, 
annulling the existing engagement, no matter how far advanced. 
Such was the condition of this State ; and when to these evdls 
were superadded the exactions called (land, or harnr. forced con- 
tributions to pay those armies of robbers who swept the lands, 
language cannot exaggerate the extent of misery. The love of 
country must be powerful indeed which can enchain man to a 
land so misgoverned, so unprotected [433]. 

Revenues. — It is always a task of difficulty to obtain any 
correct account of the revenues of these States, which are ever 
fluctuating. We have now before us several schedules, both of 
past and present reigns, all said to be copied from the archives, 
in which the name of every district, together with its rent, town 
and transit duties, and other sources of income, are stated ; but 
the details would afford little satisfaction, and doubtless the 
resident authorities have access to the fountain-head. The 
revenues of Dhundhar, of every description, fiscal, feudal, and 
tributary, or impost, are stated, in roiuid numbers, at one crore 
of rupees, or about a million of pounds sterling, which, estimating 
the difference of the price of labour, may be deemed equivalent 
to four times that sum in England.* Since this estimate was 
made, there have been great alienations of territorj', and no less 
than sixteen rich districts have been wrested from Amber by the 
Mahrattas, or her own rebel son, the Naruka chief of Macheri. 

The following is the schedule of alienations 

2 ' Khori General Perron, for his master Sindhia ; 

3 ' Pahari j rented to the Jats, and retained by them. 

* [The normal revenue is now believed to be about 65 lakhs of rupees, 
roughly speaking, £433,000 (I6I, xiii. 395).] 

® [This may possibly be Kamban in Bharatpur State.] 



REVENUES 


1433 


Seized by the Macheri Rao [now in Alwar 
State] 


4. Kanti 

5. Ukrod 

6. Pandapan 

7. Ghazi-ka-thana 

8. Rampara (karda) 

9. Ganwnri 

10. Reni 

11. Parbeni 

12. Mozpur Harsana 

..(Taken by De Boisne and given to 
1.3. Kanod or Kanaund ,, , ^ i 

, , , - Murtaza Khan, Baraich, confirmed 

14. Narnol u t j t i 

1 in them by Lord Lake. 

I Taken in the war of 1803—1, from the JVIahrattas, 

15. Kotputli and given by Lord Lake to Abhai Singh of 

I Khetri. 

16 Tonk (Uranted to Holkar by Raja Madho Singh; con- 

^ - firmed in sovereignty to Amir Khan by Lord 

17. Rampura tt 

^ [ Hastings. 

It must, however, be borne in mind, that almost aU these 
alienated districts had but for a comparatively short period 
formed an integral portion of Dhundhar ; and that the major 
part were portions of the imperial domains, held in jaedad, or 
‘ assignment,’ by the princes of this country, in their capacity of 
lieutenants of the emperor. In Raja Prithi Singh’s reign, about 
half a century ago, the rent-roll of Amber and her tributaries was 
[434] seventy-seven lakhs : and in a very minute schedule formed 
in S. 1858 (a.d. 1802), the last year of the reign of Raja Partap 
Singh, they were estimated at seventy-nine lakhs : an ample 
revenue, if well administered, for every object. We shall present 
the chief items which form the budget of ways and means of Amber . 

Schedule of the Revenues of Amber for S. 1858 (a.d. 1802-3), 
the year of Raja Jagat Singh's accession. 

Khalisa, or Fiscal Land. 

Biipees. 

Managed by the Raja, or rented . . 2,055,000 

Deori taluka, expenses of the queen’s 

household ...... 500,000 


Carry forward . . 2,555,000 

* Kanod was the fief of Amir Singh, Khangarot, one of the twelve great 
lords of Amber, 
vox. Ill 



1434 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Tiiipees. 

Brought forward . . 2,555,000 

Shagirdpcsha, servants of the household . 300.000 

Ministers, and civil officers . . 200.000 JP 

Jagirs for the Silahposh, or men-at-arnis . 150,000 

Jagirs to army, namely, ten battalions of 

infantry with cavalry . . ■ 71 1,000 

Total Fiscal Land . . — 3,919,000 

Feudal lands (of Jaipur Proper) . . • 1,700,000 

Udak,^ or charity lands, chiefly to Brahmans . 1,600,000 

Dan and Mapa, or transit and impost duties of the 

country ....... 190,000 

Kachahri, of the capital, includes town-duties, 

fines, contributions, etc., etc. . . ■ 215,000^ji< 

Mint 60,000 ^ 

Hundi-bara, insurance, and dues on bills of 

exchange ....... 60.000 

Faujdari, or commandant of Amber (annual fine) 12,000 
Do. do. of city Jaipur . . 8,000 

Bid’at, petty fines from the Kachahri, or hall of 

justice ....... 16,000 » 

Sabzimandi, vegetable market .... 3,000 

Total Lakhs .... 7.783,000 

/■Shaikliavati ..... 350,000 

„ I Raiawat and other feudatories of 

Tribute-' 

iriDute, 30,000 

*Kothris of Haraoti’ . . 20.000 

Total Tribute . . 400,000 

Add Tribute . . 400,000 

T 

Grand Total . . Rs. 8,183,000 

[435], 

[Vdaka means the rite of offering water to deceased relations ; hence, 
assignments of lands to Brahmans at such rites (H. T. Colebrooke, Essays 
on the Religion and Philosophy of the Hindus, ed. 1858, p. 115; Monier- '','-2 
Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, 4th ed. p. 304).] 

* Barwara, Khimi, Sawar. Isarda, etc., etc. 

® Antardah, Balwan, and Indargarh. 


REVENUES : FOREIGN ARMY 


1435 


i 




If this statement is correct, and we add thereto the Shaikha- 
wat, Rajawat, and Hara tributes, the revenues fiscal, feudal, 
commercial, and tributary, of Amber, when .Jagat Singh came to 
the throne, would exceed eighty lakhs of rupees, half of which is 
khalisa, or appertaining to the Raja — nearly twice the personal 
revenue of any other prince in Rajwara. This sum (forty lakhs) 
was the estimated amount liable to tribute when the treaty was 
formed with the British Government, and of which the Raja has 
to pay eight lakhs annually, and five-sixteenths of all revenue 
surplus to this amount. The observant reader will not fail to be 
struck mth the vast inequality between the estates of the de- 
fenders of the coimtry, and these drones the Brahmans, — a point 
on which we have elsewhere treated : ^ nor can an 5 d:hing more 


V ^ powerfully mark the utter prostration of intellect of the Kachh- 
waha princes, than their thus maintaining an indolent and baneful 
hierarchy, to fatten on the revenues which would support four 
thousand Kachhwaha cavaliers. With a proper application of 
her revenues, and princes like Raja Man to lead a brave vassalage, 
they would have foiled all the efforts of the Mahrattas ; but their 
own follies and \nces have been their ruin. 

Foreign Army, — -4.t the period (.\.d. 1808) this schedule was 
formed of the revenues of Amber, she maintained a foreign army 
of thirteen thousand men, consisting of ten battalions of infantry 
with guns, a legion of four thousand Nagas, a corps of Aligols “ 
for police duties, and one of cavalry, seven hundred strong. With 
^ these, the regular contingent of feudal levies, amounting to about 
four thousand efficient horse, formed a force adequate to repel 
any insult ; but when the kher, or Ircee en masse, was called out, 
twenty thousand men, horse and foot, were ready to back the 
always embodied force.® 

A detailed schedule of the feudal levies of Amber may diversify 
the dry details of these annals, ob\iate repetition, and present a 
perfect picture of a society of clanships. In this list we shall 
give precedence to the kothriband, the holders of the twelve great 
fiefs (barah-kolhri) of Amber — 


V 


® See Dissertation on the Religious Establishments of Mewar, Vol. II. 
p. 590. 

2 [See pp. 1416, 1422.] 

® [At present the military forces of the State consist of about 5000 
infantrv, 5000 Nasas. 700 cavalry. 860 artillery-men, and 100 mounted 
on camels {IGI, xiii. 397).] 



Schedule of the names and appanages of the hvelve sons of liaja Prithiraj, ■whose descendants 
form the Barah-kothri, or twelve great fief s of Amber ^ [436]. 


1436 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


X 

b- 

10 


0 

1 

X 

fH 

40 

C5 

40 

N 

-<? 

0 

40 


1 CO 

X 

CO 


rH 

X 



(N 









0 

0 

0 ^ 

0 

C 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

40 

00 

0 

0 

0 

0 

1 ° 

0 

0 

0 

40 

CO 

40^ 

X 

X 

40 

0 

0 

c 

0 

0 

0 ^ 

X 

rH 

id' 

N 


X 

(N 

40 

IN 

' 1- 
rH 

o' 

t- 

■^ 

IN 

27 

o' 

pH 

C5 

pH 


-CJ 

-C CD 
tX) C 

B 

^ SX) 
t£} C 
a cs 
M C 


|d 

3 


A 

fcX) 

pG 


.s 


to 


B 


G 

'in 

‘in 


^■5 2 

2 w £ 


S o 


S ^ 

S t £ t 
^ 


A 

Br. G ^ 

G 

zi in .G 

S .c a. ^ 

_ sai 3 'S 

' G ,g-. G Ui^ 

iD C3 ^ HH 

c ^ ^ ^ ^ 

S ^ I s « S' 

— o S ^ 5 S 

■3: s ?i s 3 ;3 

pq (1, S K * 


5 


M M Cw O 

-2 C y; » 

■3 § .3 § e .S ^ 

o M Q K S Z R 


b£i 

.s 

'in 


o . U ^ 
^ t ^ - 


ce 


o g 

G G 

^ C3 
G G 

W ^ P 


G 

5 


^ S P u 5 


^ £ 

G G 4 c3 

^ S - 

G 


G ^ JS 52 


s *5 ^ S ^ 


G O 
G u 




G 


G 


G 

O 

03 

</> M 

*G G 

fee 




c 

G *G 
« ^ 


S Z Z K 


mZ s S 
!» R 


.§ £ 
G G 


-G 

C 


^2^ W ffl 


® X 05 O I— • IN 


^ [There have been several changes in this list of fiefs since the Author’s time. A later, but apparently inaccurate, 
list is given in EajpntCimi GazMeer, 1870, ii. KIO. An earlier list, made in 1790 by W._ Hunter, appears in “A 
Narrative of a Journey from Agra to Oujein,” Asifitic Hesearches, vi. 09.] 


FEUDALITIES OF AMBER 


1437 


It will be remarked that the estates of these, the cliief vassals 
of Amber, are, with the exception of two, far inferior in value to 
those of the sixteen great chiefs of Mewar, or the eight of Marwar ; 
and a detailed hst of all the inferior feudatories of each Kothri, 
or clan, would show that many of them have estates greater than 
those of their leaders : for instance, Kishan Singh of Chaumun 
has upwards of a lakh, while Beri Sal of Samod, the head of the 
clan (Nathawat), has only forty thousand ; again, the chief of 
Balaheri holds an estate of thirty-five thousand, wliile that of 
^ the head of his clan is but twenty-five thousand. The repre- 
sentative of the Sheobaranpotas has an estate of only ten thousand, 
wliile the junior branch of Gura has thirty-six thousand. Again, 
^ the chief of the Khangarots has but twenty-fiv’e thousand, while 
no less than three junior branches hold lands to double that 
amount ; and the inferior of the Balbhadarots holds upwards 
of a lakh, while the superior of Achrol has not a third of this 
rental. The favour of the prince, the turbulence or talents of 
individuals, have caused these inequalities ; but, however dis- 
proportioned the gifts of fortune, the attribute of honour always 
remains with the lineal descendant and representative of the 
original fief. 

We shall further illustrate tliis subject of the feudalities of 
Amber by inserting a general list of aU the clans, with the number 
of subdivisions, the resources of each, and the quotas they ought 
to furnish. At no remote period this was held to be correct, and 
, wUl serve to give a good idea of the Kacldiwaha aristocracy. It 
was my [437] intention to have given a detailed account of the 
subdivisions of each fief, their names, and those of their holders, 
but on reflection, though they cost some diligence to obtain, they 
would have little interest for the general reader 


[Table 



1438 


ANNALS OF AMBER OR JAIPUR 


Schedule of the Kachhwaha clans; the number of fiefs or estates 
in each ; their aggregate value, and quotas of horse for each estate?- 


Names of Clan^. 



Number of 
J'ieis in eaib 
Clanship or 
Clan, 

- - 

Aai're^ate 

Keveiuie. 

Aggregate 

Quotas. 

Chhattavbhujot 



6 

53,800 

92 

Kalyanot 



19 

245,196 

422 

Nathawat 



10 

220,800 

371 

Balbhadarot . 



2 

130,850 

157 

Khangarot 



22 

402,806 

643 

Sultanot 



— 

— 

— 

1 Pachainot . . 



3 

24.700 

45 

Gugawat 



13 

167,900 

273 

Kumbhani [or Kuniaiii] 

2 

23,787 

35 

Kumbhawat . 



tt 

40,738 

68 

Sheobaranpota 



3 1 

49.500 

73 

Banbirpota . 



3 

26,575 

48 

I Rajawat 



16 

198,137 

392 

Naruka “ . 



6 

91,069 

92 

1 Bankawat 



4 

34,600 

53 

sPuranniallot . 



1 

10,000 

19 

f Bhatti 



4 

104.039 

205 

Chauhan 



' 4 

30,500 

61 

Bargujar 



6 

32,000 

58 

Chandarawat 



1 

14,000 

21 

Sakarwar 



2 

4,500 

8 

Gujars . 



3 

15,300 

30 

Rangras . 



6 

291,105 

549 

Khatris . 



4 

120,000 

281 

Brahmans 



12 

312,000 

606 

1. Musalinan 



9 

141,400 

274 

r438l 


Ancieat Towns. — Wc shall conclude the annals of Amber with 
the names of a few of the ancient towms, in which research may 
recover something of past days. 

* TA fuller and mcne correct list will be found in Rajputana Cen sus Report, 
1911, i. 255.J 

^ The first twelve are the Barah-kothris, or twelve great fiefs of Amber. 

* The next four are of the Kachhwaha stock. b»it not reckoned amongst 
the Kothribands. 

* The last ten are foreign chieftains, of various tribes and classes. 

No doubt great changes have taken place since this list wa.s funned, 
especially anioiig.st the mercenary Pattayats, or .Tagirdais. The cpiotas are 
also irregular, though the qualification of a cavalier in this State is reckoned 
at five hundred rupees of income. 



ANCIENT TOWNS 1439 

Mora. — Nine coss east of Dausa or Daosa ; built by Mordhwaj, 
a Chauhan Raja. 

Abhaner. — Three coss east of Lalsont : very ancient ; capital 
of a Chauhan sovereignty. 

Bangarh. — Five coss from Tholai ; the ruins of an ancient 
town and castle in the hills, built by the old princes of Dhundhar, 
prior to the Kachhwahas. 

Amargarh. — Three coss from Kushalgarh ; built by the 
Nagvansa. 

Bairat.^ — Three coss from Basai in Machcri, attributed to the 
Pandus. 

Patan and Ganlpur. — Both erected by the ancient Tuar kings 
of Delhi. 

Kharar, or Khandar. — Near Ranthambhor. 

Utgir. — On the Chambal. 

Amber, or Ambikeswara, a title of Siva, whose symbol is in 
the centre of a kund or tank in the middle of the old town. The 
water covers half the lingam ; and a prophecy prevails, that 
when it is entirely submerged the State of Amber will perish ! 
There are inscriptions [439]. 

^ [Forty-two miles N.N.E. of Jaipur city, the ancient Vairata [IQI, vi. 
217 ; A8R, u. 242 ff.).] 







BOOK X 

ANNALS or HlRAVATI 
BIJNDI 
CHAPTER 1 

Haravati. — Haravati, or Haraoti, ‘ the country of the Haras,’ 
comprehends two principalities, namely, Kotah and Bundi. 
y The Chambal intersects the territory of the Hara race, and now 
vierves as their boundary, although only three centuries have 
elapsed since the younger branch separated from and became 
independent of Bundi. 

The Hara is the most important of the twenty-four Chauhan 
sakha, being descended from Anuraj, the son of Manik Rae, king 
of Ajmer, who in S. 741 (a.d. 685) sustained the first shock of the 
Islamite arms.^ 

The Origin of the Chauhans. — We have already sketched the 
pedigree of the Chauhans,^ one of the most illustrious of the 
‘ Thirty-six Royal Races ’ of India.® We must, however, in this 

® [The name is said to be derived from that of the Hara Hfinas or Huns 
{lA, xi. 5) or from Rao Hado or Harraj.] 

® See Vol. I. p. 112. 

® According to Herodotus, the Scythic sakae enumerated eight races with 
the epithet of royal, and Strabo mentions one of the tribes of the Thyssagetae 
as boasting the title of Basilii. [Herodotus (iv. 22) speaks of the Thyssagetae, 
^ possibly meaning ‘ lesser,’ Getae, as contrasted with the Massagetae or 
‘ greater ’ Getae, but he does not call them ‘ royal ’ ; and, in any case, they 
have no connexion with the Rajputs (see Rawlinson, Herodotus, 3rd ed. 
iii. 209).] The Rajputs assert that in ancient times they only enumerated 
eight royal sakham or branches, namely. Surra, Soma, Haya or Aswa 

1441 



1442 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; BONDI 


place, enter into it somewhat more fully ; and in doing so, we 
must not discard even the fables of their origin, which will at 
least demonstrate that the human understanding has been 
similarly constructed in all ages and countries, before the thick ■" 
veil of ignorance and superstition w'as withdrawn from it. So 
scanty are the remote records of the Chauhans, that it would 
savour of affectation to attempt a division of the periods of their 
history, or the improbable, the probable, and the certain. Of 
the first two, a separation would be impracticable, and we cannot ^ 
trace the latter beyond the seventh century. 

“ When the impieties of the kings of the warrior race drew ' ■' 
upon them the vengeance of Parasurama, who twenty-one times 
extirpated that race, some, in order to sav'e their lives, called 
themselves bards ; others assumed the guise of women ; and thus ' 
the singh (horn) of the Rajputs was preserved, when dominion 
was assigned to the Brahmans. The impious avarice of Sahasra 
Arjuna, of the Haihaya race, king of Maheswar ^ on the Nerbudda, 
provoked the last war, having slain the father of Parasurama [440]. 

“ But as the chief weapon of the Brahman is liis curse or 
blessing, great disorders soon ensued from the want of the strong 
arm. Ignorance and infidelity spread over the land ; the sacred ''1[ 
books were trampled under foot, and mankind had no refuge from 
the monstrous brood.- In this exigence, Viswamitra, the in- 
structor in arms ® of Bhagwan, revolved within his own mind, 
and determined upon, the re-creation of the Chhattris. He 
chose for this rite the summit of Moimt Abu,* where dwell the 
hermits and sages (Munis and Rishis) constantly occupied in the 
duties of religion, and who had carried their complaints even to 
the khir satnudra (sea of curds), where they saw the Father of 

(qu. Asi ?) Nima, and the four tribes of Agnivansa, namely, Pramara, 
Parihara, Solanki, and Chauhan. Abulghazi states that the Tatars or 
Scythians were divided into six grand families. The Rajputs have main- ^ 
tamed these ideas, originally brought from the Oxus. 

* [The ancient Mahishmati {IGI, xvii. 8 if,). Sahasra or Sahasra Vahu 
Arjuna, the thousand-armed,’ of the Haihaya tribe, is the reputed ancestor 
of the Kalachuris of Chedi {BG, i. Part ii. 293, 410 ; Smith, EHl, 394).] 

Or, as the bard says, Daityas, Asuras, and Danavas, or demons and 
infidels, as they style the Indo-Scythic tribes from the north-west, who paid “ ' 
no respect to the Brahmans. 

3 Ayudh-guru. [In the previous version (Vol. I. p. 113) the priest is 
Vasishtha.] 

* My last pilgrimage was to Abu. 



THE ORIGIN OF THE CHAUHANS 


1443 


Creation floating upon the hydra (emblem of eternity). He 
desired them to regenerate the warrior race, and they returned 
to Mount Abu with Indra, Brahma, Rudra, Vishnu, and all the 
inferior divinities, in their train. The fire-fountain (analkund) 
was lustrated with the waters of the Ganges ; expiatory rites 
were performed, and, after a protracted debate, it was resolved 
that Indra should initiate the work of re-creation. Having 
formed an image (putli) of the duroa grass, he sprinkled it with 
the water of life, and threw it into the fire-fountain. Thence, on 
pronoimeing the sanjivan mantra (incantation to give hfe), a 
figure slowly emerged from the flame, bearing in the right hand 
a mace, and exclaiming, ‘Mar! mar!’ (slay, slay). He was 
called Pramar ; and Abu, Dhar, and Ujjain were assigned to him 
as a territory. 

“ Brahma was then entreated to frame one from his own 
essence {ansa). He made an image, threw it into the pit, whence 
issued a figure armed with a sword (khadga) in one hand, with the 
Veda in the other, and a janeo round his neck. He was named 
Chalukya or Solanki, and Anhilpur Patan was appropriated to 
him. 

“ Rudra formed the third. The image was sprinkled with the 
water of the Ganges, and on the incantation being read, a black 
ill-favoured figure arose, armed with the dhanush or bow. As 
his foot sUpped when sent against the demons, he was called 
Parihar, and placed as the pauliya, or guardian of the gates. He 
had the Naunangal Marusthali, or ‘ nine habitations of the desert,’ 
assigned him 

“ The fourth was formed by Vishnu ; when an image hke 
himself four-armed, each having a separate weapon, issued from 
the flames, and was thence styled Chaturbhuja Chauhan, or the 
‘ four-armed.’ The gods bestowed their blessing upon him, and 
Mahishmati-nagari as a territory. Such was the name of Garha- 
Mandla in the Dwapur, or silver age [441].^ 

“ The Daityas were watching the rites, and two of their leaders 
were close to the fire-fountain ; but the work of regeneration 
being over, the new-born warriors were sent against the mfidels, 
when a desperate encounter ensued. But as fast as the blood of 

1 [There is no local tradition corroborating the connexioti of the Chauhans 
with Garha-Mandla. and it is merely a fiction of the Chauhan bards (C. 
Grant, Gazetteer Central Provinces, Introd. i.).] 


1444 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


the demons was shed, young demons arose ; when the four 
tutelary divinities, attendant on each newly-created race, drank 
up the blood, and thus stopped the multiplication of evil. These 
were — 

Asapurna of the Chauhan. 

Gajan Mata of the Parihar. 

Keonj Mata of the Solanki. 

Sancher Mata of the Pramara.* 

“ When the Daityas were slain, shouts of joy rent the sky ; 
ambrosial showers were shed from heav'en ; and the gods drove 
their cars (vahan) about the firmament, exulting at the victory 
thus achieved. 

“ Of all the Thirty-six Royal Races (says Chand, the great bard 
of the Chauhans), the Agnikula is the greatest : the rest w'ere 
born of woman ; these were created bj' the Brahmans ! ~ — 
Gotracharya of the Chauhans, Sama Veda, Som-vansa, Madhuvani 
sakha, Vacha gotra, Panch parwar janeo, Laktankari nikas, 
Chandrabhaga Nadi, Brighu nishan, Ambika-Bhavani, Balan 
Putra, Kalbhairon, Abu Achaleswar Mahadeo, Chaturbhuja 
Chauhan.” 

The period of this grand convocation of the gods on Mount 
Abu, to regenerate the warrior race of Hind, and to incite them 
against ‘ the infidel races who had spread over the land,’ is 
dated so far back as the opening of the second age of the Hindus : 
a point which we shall not dispute. Neither shall we throw a 
doubt upon the chronicles which claim Prince Salya, one of the 
great heroes of the Mahabharata, as an intermediate link between 
Anhal Chauhan and Satpati, who founded IMahishmati, and 

^ [Another title of the Parihar tribal goddess is Chawanda Mata, whose 
temple is in the Jodhpur fort {Census Report, llarwar, 1891, ii. 31). In 
Gujarat the Jadejas worship Asapurna ; the JhMas Adya ; the Gohils 
Khodiyar Mata ; the Jethvas Vindhyavasini ; the Pramars Mandavri ; the 
Chavadas and Vaghelas Chamunda {BO, ix. Part i. 136).] 

® It is by no means uncommon for this arrogant priesthood to lay claim 
to powers co-equal with those of the Divinity, nay, often superior to them. 
Witness the scene in the Raraayana, where they make the deity a mediator, 
to entreat the Brahman Vashishta to hearken to King Vishwamitra’s desire 
for his friendship. Can anything exceed this ? Parallel it, perhaps, we 
may, in that memorable instance of Christian idolatry, where the Ahiiighty 
is called on to intercede with St. Januarius to perform the annual ndracle 
of liquefying the congealed blood. 


EARLY LEGENDS OP THE CHAUHAN TRIBE 1445 


conquered the Konkan ; while another son, called Tantar Pal, 
conquered Asir and Gualkund (Gk)lkonda), planted his garrisons 
in every region, and jiossessed nine hundred elephants to carry 
pakhals, or water-skins [442]. 

Let us here pause for a moment before we proceed ■with the 
chronicle, and inquire who were these warriors, thus regenerated 
to fight the battles of Brahmanism, and brought within the pale 
of their faith. They must have been either the aboriginal de- 
based classes, raised to moral importance, by the ministers of 
the pervading religion, or foreign races who had obtained a foot- 
ing amongst them. The contrasted physical appearance of the 
respective races will decide this question. The aborigines are 
dark, diminutive, and ill-favoured ; the Agnikulas are of good 
stature, and fair, with prominent features, like those of the 
Parthian kings. The ideas which pervade their martial poetry 
are such as were lield by the Scj’thian in distant ages, and which 
even Brahmanism has failed to eradicate ; while the tumuli, 
containing ashes and arms, discovered throughout India, especi- 
ally in the south about Gualkund, where the Chauhans held 
sway,^ indicate the nomadic warrior of the north as the proselyte 
of Mount Abu. 

Of the four Agnikula races, the Chauhans were the first who 
obtained extensive dominions. The almost universal power of 
the Pramaras is proverbial ; but the wide sway possessed by the 
Chauhans can only be discovered with difficulty. Their glory 
was on the wane when that of the Pramaras was in the zenith ; 
and if we may credit the last great bard of the Rajputs, the 
Chauhans held i/i capile of the Pramaras of Telingana, in the 
eighth century of Vikrama, though the name of Prithiraj threw 
a parting ray of splendour upon the whole line of his ancestry, 
even to the fire-fountain on the summit of classic Abu. 

The facts to be gleaned in the early page of the chronicle are 
contained in a few stanzas, which proclaim the possession of 
paramount power, though probably of no lengthened duration. 
The line of the Nerbudda, from Mahishmati, Maheswar, was 
their primitive seat of sovereignty, comprehending aU the tracts 
in its vicinitj’ both north and south. Thence, as they multiplied, 
they spread over the peninsula, possessing Mandu, Asir, Golkonda, 

^ [This is a fiction of the bards, and the S. Indian burial-mounds have 
no connexion with the Chauhans (see /'?/, ii. 9-t).] 



1416 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtlNDI 


and the Konkan ; while to the north, [443] they stretched even 
to the fountains of the Ganges. The following is the bard's 
jiiclurc of the Chaidian dominion : — 

■■ From ‘ the seat of government ' (rajasthnn) Mahishniati, 
the oath of allegiance (an) resounded in flfty-Iwo castles. The 
land of Tatta, Lahore, ilultan, Peshawar,^ the Chanhan in his 
might aro.se and conquered even to the hills of Badarinath. 
The infidels (Asuras) fled, and allegiance was proclaimed in Delhi 
and Kabul, while the country of Nepal he bestowed on the 
Mallani.^ Crowned with the blessing of tire gods, he returned to 
Mahishmati.” 

It has already been observed, that Mahishmati-Nagari was 
the ancient name of Garha-Mandla, whose princes for ages con- 
tinued the surname of Pal, indicative, it is recorded by tradition, 
of their nomadic occupation. The Ahirs, who occupied all 
Central India, and have left in one nook ( Ahincara) a memorial 
of their existence, was a branch of the same race, Ahir being a 
synonym for Pal.* Bhilsa, Bhojpur, Dip, Bhopal, Eran, Garaspur, 
are a few of the ancient towns established by the Pals or Palis ; 
and could we master the still unknown characters appertaining 
to the earlj^ colonists of India, more light would be thrown on the 
history of the Chauhans.® 

A scion from Mahishmati, named Ajaipal, established himself 


[This S. Indian Chauhan empire is a fiction, the object being to provide 
a princely genealogy for the S. Indian royal families (see BG, ix. Part i. 484).] 
The Muhammadan writers confirm this account, for in their earliest 
recorded invasion, in A.n. 143, the princes of Lahore and Ajmer, said to be 
of the same family, are the great opponents of Islam, and combated its 
advance m fields west of the Indus. We know beyond a doubt that Ajmer 
was then the chief seat of Chanhan power, 

' J’jf Chauhan Sakha and mav he 

the MaUoi who opposed Alexander at the confiuent arms of the Indus. The 
nbe IS extinct, and was so little known even five centuries ago. that a prince 
of flundi of the Hara tribe, intermarried with a Mallani, the book of genea- 
logical amities not mdieatmg her being within the prohibited canon. A 
more skilful bard pointed out the incestuous connexion, when divorce and 
expiation ensued. Vide p. 1266. 

-Mau-d-din stormed Asirgarh in a.d. 1295 it was a Chauhan 
tronghold. The existence of this Ahir kingdom rests on the authority of 

T n it t-e based on a line of Ahir 

clueftams m the Tapti vaUey (Russell, Tribes and Castes, Central Province-:, 

® AU these towns contain remains of antiquity, especiaUy in the district 


manik rae 


1447 


at Ajmer,' and erected its castle of Taragarh. The name of 
Ajaipal is one of the most conspicuous that tradition has preserved, 
and is always followed by the epithet of Chakravartin, or uni- 
versal potentate. His era must ever remain doubtful, unless, 
as already observed, we should master the characters said to 
belong to this race, and which are still extant, both on stone and 
on copper.' From what cause is not stated (most probably a 
failure of [444] lineal issue), Prithi Pahar was brought from 
Mahishmati to Ajmer. By a single wife (for polygamy was 
then unknown to these races) he had twenty-four sons, whose 
progeny peopled these regions, one of whose descendants, 
Manika Rae, was lord of Ajmer and Sambhar, in the year 
S. 741, or A.D. 685. 

✓ Manik Rae. — With the name of Manika Rae, the history of 
the Chaulian emerges from obscurity, if not fable ; and although 
the bard does not subsequently entertain us with much substantial 
information, we can trace his subject, and see his heroes fret 
their hour upon the uncertain stage, throughout a period of twelve 
hundred years. It was at this era (a.d. 685) that Rajputana 
was first visited by the arms of Islam, being the sixty-third year 
of the Hejira. Manika Rae, then prince of Ajmer, was slain by 
the Asuras, and his only child, named Lot, then an infant of 
seven years of age, was killed by an arrow while playing on the 
battlements (kungiiras). The invasion is said to have been from 
Sind, in revenge for the ill-treatment of an Islamite missionary 


of Dip, Bhojpur, and Bhilsa. Twenty years ago, in one of my journeys, I 
passed the ruins of Eran, where a superb column stands at the junction of 
its two streams. It is about thirty feet in height, and is surmounted by a 
human figure, having a glory round his head ; a colossal bull is at the base 
of the column. I sent a drawing of it to Mr. Colebrooke at the time, but 
possess no copy. [The Eran pillar was erected a.d. 484—5, as the flag- 
staff of the four-armed Vishnu, by Budhagupta (Smith, UFA, 174, with an 
illustration ; IGI, xii. 25).] 

' It is indifferently called Ajaimer, and Ajaidurg, the invincible hill 
{meru), or invincible castle {durg). Tradition, however, says that the name 
of this renowned abode, the key of Bajputana, is derived from the humble 
profession of the young Chauhan, who was a goatherd ; Aja meaning ‘ a 
^ goat ’ in Sanskrit ; still referring to the original pastoral occupation of the 
Palis. [Ajmer was founded by Ajayadeva about a.d. 1100.] 

2 I obtained at Ajmer and at Pushkar several very valuable medals, 
Baetrian, Indo-Scythic, and Hindu, having the ancient Pali on one side, and 
the effigy of a horse on the other. 



1448 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI • BONDI 


named Roshan Ali, though the complexion of the event is more 
like an enterprise prompted by religious enthusiasm. The 
missionary being condemned to lose his thumb “ the disjointed 
member flew to Mecca,” and gave evidence against the Rajput r », 
idolater ; when a force was prepared, disguised as a caravan of 
horse-merchants, which surprised and slew Dhola Rae and his 
son, and obtained possession of Garhbitli, the citadel. 

Puerile as is the transaction, its truth is substantiated by the 
fact that the Caliph Omar at this very time sent an army to 
Sind, whose commander, Abu-l-lais, was slain in an attempt on 
the ancient capital, Alor.* StUl nothing but the enthusiasm of 
religious frenzy could have induced a band to cross the desert 
in order to punish this insult to the new faith. 

Whatever were the means, however, by which Ajmer was 
captured, and Dhola Rae slain, the importance of the event has 
been deeply imprinted on the Chauhans ; who, in remembrance 
of it, deified the youthful heir of Ajmer : “ Lot putra ” is still 
the most conspicuous of the Chauhan penates. The day on which 
he was killed is sanctified, and his effigy then receives divine 
honours from all who have the name of Chauhan. Even the 
anklet of bells which he wore has become an object of veneration, 
and is forbidden to be used by the children of this race. < 

“ Of the house of Dhola Rae of Chauhan race, Lotdeo, the 
heir-apparent by the decree of Siva, on Monday the 12th of the 
month of Jeth, went to heaven.” 

Manika Rae, the uncle of the youth {putra) (who is still the ^ 
object of general homage, especially of the Chauhan fair), upon 
the occupation of Ajmer, retired upon [445] Sambhar, which 
event another couplet fixes, as we have said, in S. 741.® Here 

1 pmar-bin-Khaltab, the second Khafifa (a.d. 634^4). The “ Abul 
Aas ” of the original text possibly represents Abu-l-lais, “ the ancestor of the 
Laisi Sa 3 ryids, Abu-l-lais-i-Hindi, who is nieiitioiied in the ChachndmaJi, _*■ 
who came into Sind with the Arabs, and was present at the battle in which 
'Raja Dahir was slain” (C. Raverty, Notes on Afghanistan, 1888, p. 671, 
note).] 

® “ Sanivat sat sau iktalls 
Mdlat ball bes 
Sambhar dya tuti sarase 
Manik Sde, Nares.” 

[This quotation is so incorrect that neither Dr. Tessitori nor Major 
Luard s Pandit is able to restore it. The latter cannot make any sense of 
the second line. The date is impossible.] 



MANIKA RAE CHAUHAN 


1449 


the bard has recourse to celestial interposition in order to support 
Manika Rae in his adversity. The goddess Sakambhari appears 
to him, while seeking shelter from the pursuit of this merciless 
-i foe, and bids him establish himself in the spot where she mani- 
fested herself, guaranteeing to him the possession of all the ground 
he could encompass with his horse on that day ; but commanded 
him not to look back until he had returned to the spot where he 
left her. He commenced the circuit, with what he deemed his 
^ steed could accomplish, but forgetting the injunction, he was 
surprised to see the whole space covered as with a sheet. This 
■' was the desiccated sar, or salt-lake, which he named after his 
patroness Sakambhari, whose statue still exists on a small island 
in the lake, now corrupted to Sambhar.' 

However jejune these legends of the first days of Chauhan 
power, they suffice to mark with exactness their locality ; and 
the importance attached to this settlement is manifested in the 
title of ‘ Sambhari Rao,’ maintained by Prithiraj, the descendant 
of Manika Rae, even when emperor of all Northern India. 

Manika Rae, whom we may consider as the founder of the 
Chauhans of the north, recovered Ajmer. He had a numerous 
progeny, who established many petty dynasties throughout 
Western Rajwara, giving birth to various tribes, which are spread 
even to the Indus. The Khichi,^ the Hara. the Mobil, Nirwana, 
Bhadauria, Bhaurecha, Dhanetia, and Baghrecha, are all de- 
scended from him.® The Khichis were established in the remote 
- Duab, caUed Sind-Sagar, comprising all the tract between the 
Behat and the Sind, a space of sixty-eight coss, whose capital 
was Khichpur-Patan. The Haras obtained or founded Asi 
(Hansi) in Hariana ; while another tribe held Gualkund, the 
celebrated Golkonda, now Haidarabad, and when thence expelled, 
regained Asir. The Mohils had the tracts round Xagor.* The 

^ An inscription on the pillar at Firoz Shah s palace at Delhi, belonging 
I to this family, in which the word sakambhari occurs, gave rise to many in- 
genious conjectures by Sir W. Jones, Mr, Colebrooke, and Colonel Wilford, 

^ Called Khichkot by Babur. 

3 priie Bhaurecha and Baghrecha do not appear in modem lists of the 
Chauhan clans {Census Report Rajputana, 1911, i. 255 f.).] 

^ * In the Annals of Marwar it will be shown, that the Kathors conquered 

Nagor, or Naga-durg (the ‘serpent's castle’), from the Mohils, who held 
fourteen hundred and forty villages so late as the fifteenth century. So 
many^of the colonies of Agnikulas bestowed the name of serpent on their 
VOL. Ill , O 



1450 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


Bhadaurias had an appanage on the Chanibal, in a tract which 
bears their name, and [446] is still subject to them. The 
Dhanetias settled at Shahabad, which by a singular fatality has 
at length come into the possession of the Haras of Kotah. 
Another branch fixed at Nadol, but never changed the name of 
Chauhan.'^ 

Many chieftainships were scattered over the desert, cither 
trusting to their lances to maintain their independence, or holding 
of superiors ; but a notice of them, however interesting, would 
here, perhaps, be out of place. Eleven princes are enumerated 
in the Jaga’s catalogue, from Manika Rae to Bisaldeo,- a name 
of the highest celebrity in the Rajput annals, and a landmark to 
various authorities, who otherwise have little in common even 
in their genealogies, which I pass over in silence, with the excep- 



settlements, that I am convinced all were of the Tak, Takshak, or Kagvansa 
race from Sakadwipa, wlio, six centuries anterior to Vikramaditya, under 
their leader Seahnaga, conquered India, and whose era must be the Hinit of 
Agnikula antiquity [?]. 

* The importance of Kadol was considerable, and is fully attested by 
existing inscriptions as weU as by the domestic chronicle. Midway from 
the founder, in the eighth century, to its destruction in the twelfth, was 
Rao Lakhan, who in S. 1039 (a.d. 983) successfully coped with the princes v 
of Nahrvala. ' 

‘‘ Sutnaya das sai nuchalTs 
Bar ikaula, Pdtan pda paul 
Dan Chauhan vgavi 
Meicar Dhanni daiid bhari 
Tis par Bdo Lakhan thnppi 
Jo arambha, so kari.'' 


Literally : “ In S. 1039, at the farther gate of the city of Patau, the 
Chauhan collected the commercial duties {dan). He took tribute from the 
lord of Mewar, and performed whatever he had a mind to.” [This verse 
is so corrupt that Dr. Tessitori has been unable to correct it.] 

Lakhan drew upon him the arms of Sabuktigin, and his son Mahmud. An- 
when Nadol was stripped of Its consequence; its temples were thrown ’ 
down, and its fortress was dilapidated. But it had recovered much of its 
power, and even sent forth several branches, who all fell under Alau-d-din 
in the thirteenth century. On the final conquest of India by Shihabu d-din, 
the prince of Nadol appears to have effected a compromise, and to have 
become a vassal of the empire. This conjecture arises from the singiilaritv 
of its currency, which retains on the one side the names in .Sanskrit of its 
indigenous princes, and on the other that of the conqueror. 

‘ [Vighraharaja, or VTsaladeva, who is said, with doubtful truth, to liave 
wrested Delhi from the Tomaras (Smith, EHI. 387).] 



THE CPmONICLES OF AJMER 


1451 


tion of the intermediate name of Harsraj J common to the Hamir 
Raesa as well as the Jaga’s list. The authority of Harsraj 
stretched along the Aravalli mountains to Abu, and east of the 
Chambal. He ruled from S. 812 to 827 (A.n. 138 to 153), and fell 
in battle against the Asuras, having attained the title of Ari- 
murdan.^ Ferishta says, that “ in a.h. 143, the Muslims greatly 
increased, when issuing from their hills they obtained possession 
of Karman, Peshawar, and all the lands adjacent ; and that the 
Raja of Lahore, who was of the family of the Raja of Ajmer, 
sent his brother “ against these Afghans, who were reinforced by 
the tribes of Khilj, of Ghor and Kabul, just become proselytes 
to Islam ” ; ^ and he adds, that during five months, seventy 
battles were fought with success ; or, to use the historian's own 
words, in which Sipahi sarma (General Frost) was victorious 
over the infidel, but who returned when the cold season was 
passed with fresh force. The armies met [447] between Karman 
and Peshawar ; sometimes the infidel (Rajput) carried the war 
to the Kohistan, ‘ mountainous regions,’ and drove the Musal- 
mans before him ; sometimes the Musalmans, obtaining reinforce- 
ments, drove the infidel by flights of arrows to their own borders, 
to which they always retired when the torrents swelled the 
Nilab (Indus).” 

MTiether the Raja of Ajmer personally engaged in these 
distant combats the chronicle says not. According to the Hamir 
Raesa, Harsraj was succeeded by Dujgandeo, whose advanced 
post was Bhatner, and who overcame Xasiru-d-din, from whom 
he captured twelve hundred horse, and hence bore the epithet of 
Sultan Graha. or ‘ King-seizer.’ Xasiru-d-din was the title of 
the celebrated Sabuktigin, father to the still more celebrated 
Mahmud. Sabuktigin repeatedly invaded India during the 
fifteen years’ reign of his predecessor Alptigin. 

1 Harsraj and Bijai Raj were sons of Ajaipal, king of Ajmer, according 
to the chronicle. 

2 [‘ Destroyer of foes.’] 

® This is a very important admission of Ferishta. concerning the proselyt- 
ism of all these tribes, and confirms my hypothesis, that the Afghans are 
converted Jadons or Yadus, not Yahudis, or Jews. [The extract in the 
text is an inaccurate abstract of Ferishta’s statement (i. 7 f.). The Gaur 
Rajputs have no connexion with Ghor.] The Gaur is also a well-known 
Rajput tribe, and they had only to convert it into Ghor. Vide Annals of 
the Bhattis. 



1452 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtlNDI 


Bisaldeo. — Passing over the intermediate reigns, each of which 
is marked by some meagre and unsatisfactory details of battles 
with the Islamite, we arrive at Bisaldeo. The father of this prince, 
according to the Hara genealogists, was Dharmagaj, apparently a 
title — ‘ in faith like an elephant ’ — as in the Jaga's list is Bir 
Bilandeo, confirmed by the inscription on the triumphal column 
at Delhi. The last of Mahmud’s invasions occurred during the 
reign of Bilandeo, who, at the expense of his life, had the glory 
of humbling the mighty conqueror, and forcing him to relinquish 
the siege of Ajmer.^ Before we condense the scanty records of 
the bards concerning Visaladeva," we may spare a few words to 
commemorate a Chauhan who consecrated his name, and that 
of all his kin, by his deeds in the first passage of Mahmud into 
India. 

Guga, Gugga Chauhan. — Guga Chauhan was the son of Vacha 
Raja., a name of some celebrity. He held the whole of Jangaldes, 
or the forest lands from the Sutlej to Hariana ; his capital, called 
Mahara, or, as pronounced, Guga ka 'Mahra, was on the Sutlej. 
In defending this he fell, with forty-five sons and sixty nephews ; 
and as it occurred on Sunday (Rabiwar), the ninth (naumi) of 
the month, that day is held sacred to the manes of Guga by the 
‘ Thirty -six Classes ’ ® throughout Rajputana, but especially in 
the desert, a portion of which is yet called Gugadeo ka thal. 
Even his steed, Javadia,* has been immortalized [448] and has 
become a favourite name for a war-horse throughout Rajputana, 

^ [The account of Ferishta (i. 69) lacks confirmation : see Elliot-Dowson 
u. 434 ff.] 

^ The classical mode of writing the name of Bisaldeo. 

® Chaitispun. 

* It is related by the Rajput romancers that Guga had no children ; that 
lamenting this his guardian deity gave him two barley-corns (java or jau), 
one of which he gave to his queen, another to his favourite mare, which pro- 
duced the steed (Javadia) which became as famous as Guga himself. The 
Rana of Udaipur gave the Author a blood-horse at Kathiawar, whose name 
was Javadia. Though a lamb in disposition, when mounted he was a piece 
of fire, and admirably broken in to all the manege exercise. A more perfect 
animal never existed. The Author brought him, with another (Mirgraj), 
from Udaipur to the ocean, intending to bring them home ; but the grey 
he gave to a friend, and fearful of the voyage, he sent Javadia baclf six 
hundred miles to the Rana, requesting “ he might be the first worshipped 
on the annual military festival ” ; a request which he doubts not was 
complied with. 



BiSALDEO 


1453 


whose mighty men swear ‘ by the sakha of Guga,’ for maintain- 
ing the Rajput fame when Mahmud erossed the Sutlej. 

This was probably the last of Mahmud’s invasions, when he 
marched direct from Multan through the desert. He attacked 
Ajmer, which was abandoned, and the country around given up to 
devastation and plunder. The citadel, Garhbitli, however, held 
out, and Mahmud was foiled, wounded, and obliged to retreat by 
Nadol,’- another Chauhan possession, which he sacked, and then 
proceeded to Nahrwala, which he captured. His barbarities 
promoted a coalition, which, by compelling him to march through 
the western deserts to gain the valley of Sind, had nearly proved 
fatal to his army. 

The exploits of Bisaldeo form one of the books of Chand the 
bard. The date assigned to Bisaldeo in the Raesa (S. 921) is 
interpolated — a vice not imcommon with the Rajput bard, whose 
periods acquire verification from less mutable materials than those 
out of which he weaves his song.^ 

Chand gives an animated picture of the levy of the Rajput 
chivalry, which assembled under Bisaldeo, who, as the champion 
of the Hindu faith, was chosen to lead its warriors against the 
Islamite invader. The Chalukya king of Anhilwara alone refused 
to join the confederation, and in terms which drew upon him the 
vengeance of the Chauhan. A literal translation of the passage 
may be interesting : 

“ To the Goelwal Jeth, the prince entrusted Ajmer, sa 5 Tng, 
‘ On your fealty I depend ’ ; where can this Chalukya find refuge ? 
He moved from the city (Ajmer) and encamped on the lake 
Visala,® and summoned his tributaries and vassals to meet him. 

^ See note, p. 1450, for remarks on Nadol, whence the author obtained 
much valuable matter, consisting of coins, inscriptions on stone and copper, 
and MSS., when on a visit to this ancient city in 1821. 

“ We have abundant checks, which, could they have been detailed in 
the earlier stage of inquiry into Hindu literature, would have excited more 
interest for the hero whose column at Delhi has excited the inquiries of 
Jones, Wilford, and Colebrooke. 

“ This lake stiU bears the name of Bisal-ka-tal notwithstanding the 
changes which have accrued during a lapse of one thousand years, since he 
formed it hy damming up the springs. [About a.d. 1150 (Watson i. A. 
50).] It is one of the reservoirs of the Luni river. The emperor Jahangir 
erected a palace on the bank of the Bisla Talao, in which he received the 
ambassador of James I. of England. 


1454- 


ANNALS OP HARAVATI : BCNDI 


Mansi Parihar with the array of Mandor, touched his feet.‘ Then 
came the Guhilot, the ornament of the throng ; - and the Pawasar 
[449], with Tuar,^ and Rama the Gaur;* with Mohes the lord of 
Mewat.“ The Mohil of Dunapur with tribute sent excuse.® With 
folded hands arrived the Baloch,’ but the lord of Bamani aban- 
doned Sind.® Then came the Nazar from Bhatner,® and the 
Nalbandi from Tatta and Multan.^” When the summons reached 
the Bhumia Bhatti of Derawarj^*^ all obeyed ; as did the Jadon of 

^ This shows that the Parihars were subordinate to the Chauhans of 
Ajmer. 

® The respectful mention of the Guhilot as ‘ the ornament of the throng," 
clearly proves that the Chitor prince came as an ally. How rejoicing to an 
antiquary to find this confirmed by an inscription found amidst the ruins 
of a city of ilewar, which alludes to this very eoahtion ! The inscription 
is a record of the friendship maintained by their issue in the twelfth century 
— Samaisi of Chitor, and Prithiraj the last Chauhan king of India— on their 
combining to chastise the king of Patan Anhilwara, in like manner as 
did Bisaldeo and Tojsi of old unite against the foe, so,” etc. etc. Now 
Tejsi was the grandfather of Rawal Samarsi, who was killed in opposing 
the final Jlushin invasion, on the Ghaggar, after one of the longest reigns 
in their annals : from which we calculate that Tejsi must have sat on the 
throne about the year S. 1120 (.\.d. 1004). [Tej Singh is mentioned in 
inscriptions of a.d. 1260, 1265, 1267 (Erskme ii. B. 10).] His youth and 
inexperience would account for his acting subordinately to the Chauhan 
of Ajmer. The name of Udayaditya further confirms the date, as will bo 
mentioned in the text. His date has been fuhy settled by various inscrip- 
tions found by the author. (See Traiisaclions Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i 
p. 223.) 

® This Tuar must have been one of the Delhi vassals, whose monarch 
was of this race. 

* The Gaur w'as a celebrated tribe, and amongst the most illustrious of 
the Chauhan feudatories ; a branch until a few years ago held Sui-Supar 
and about nine lakhs of territory. I have no doubt the Gaur appanage 
was west of the Indus, and that this tribe on conversion became the 
Ghor [?]. 

® The Jleo race of Jlewat is well known ; all are Muhammadans now. 

® The Mohils have been sufficiently discussed. 

' The Baioch was evidently Hindu at this time ; and as I have repeatedly 
said, of Jat or Gete origin. 

® The lord of Bamani, in other places called Bamanwasa, must apply 
to the ancient Bahmanabad, or Dewal, on whose site the modern Tatta is 
built. [See Smith, EBI, 103.] 

* See Annals of Jaisahner. 

All this evinces supremacy over the princes of this region : the Sodha, 
the Samma, and Sumra. 

Of Derawar we have spoken in the text. 



BISALDEO 


1455 


Malanwas.^ The Mori ^ and Bargujar - also joined with the 
Kachhwahas of Antarved.- The subjugated Meras worshipped 
his feet.^ Then came the array of Takatpur, headed by the 
Goelwal Jeth.* Mounted in haste came Udaya Pramar,® with 
the Nirwan * and the Dor,’ the Chandel,’ and the Dahima.” ® 

In this short passage, a text is afforded for a dissertation on 
the whole genealogical historj' of Rajputana at that period. Such 
extracts from the more ancient bards, incorporated in the works 
of their successors, however laconic, afford decisive evidence [450] 
that their poetic chronicles bore always the same character ; 
for this passage is introdueed by Chand merely as a preface to 
the history of his own prince, Prithiraj, the descendant of 
Bisaldeo. 

A similar passage was given from the ancient chronicles of 
Mewar, recording an invasion of the Muslims, of which the 
histories of the invaders have left no trace (Vol. I. p. 287). The 
evidence of both is incontestable ; every name affords a syn- 
chronism not to be disputed ; and though the isolated passage 
would afford a very faint ray of light to the explorer of those days 
of darkness, yet when the same industrious research has pervaded 
the annals of all these races, a flood of illumination pours upon us, 
and we can at least tell who the races were who held sway in these 
regions a thousand years ago. 

Amidst meagre, jejune, and unsatisfactory details, the annalist 
of Rajputana must be content to wade on, in order to Obtain some 
solid foundation for the history of the tribes ; but such facts as 
these stimulate his exertions and reward his toil : without them, 

’ JIalanwas we know not. 

- The Moris, the Kachhwahas and Bargujars require no further notice. 
[Antarved, the Ganses-Jumna Duab.] 

^ The Meras inhabited the Aravalli. 

* Takatpur is the modem Toda, near Tonk, where there are fine remains. 

^ Udayadit3'a, now a landmark in Hindu histor}'. 

® See Annals of Shaikhavati for the Kirwans, who held Khandela as a 
fief of Ajmer. 

’ The Dor and Chandel were well-known tribes ; the latter contended 
with Prithiraj, who deprived them of Mahoba and Kalanjar, and aU modem 
Bundelkhand. 

® The renowned Dahima was lord of Bayana ; also called Druinadhar. 
[The ancient name was Sripatha {IGI, vii, 137). This catalogue of the 
chiefs is the work of the Chauhan bard, desirous of exalting the dignity of 
his tribe, and is not historical.] 



1456 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


his task would be hopeless. To each of the twenty tribes enumer- 
ated, formed under the standard of the Chauhan, we append a 
separate notice, for the satisfaction of the few who can appreciate 
their importance, while some general remarks may suffice as a 
connexion with the immediate object of research, the Haras, 
descended from Bisaldeo. 

In the first place, it is of no small moment to be enabled to 
adjust the date of Bisaldeo, the most important name in the annals 
of the Chauhans from Manik Rae to Pritbiraj, and a slip from the 
genealogical tree will elucidate our remarks [451].’^ 

The Delhi Pillar. — ^The name of Bisaldeo (Visaladeva) heads 
the inscription on the celebrated column erected in the centre of 
Piroz Shah’s palace at Delhi. This column, alluded to by Chand, 
as “ telling the fame of the Chohan,” was " placed at Nigambhod,” 
a place of pilgrimage on the Jmnna, a few miles below Delhi, 
whence it must have been removed to its present singular position.'’ 

Th^ inscription commences and ends wth the same date, 
namely, 15th of the month Baisakh, S. 1220. If correctly copied, 
it can have no reference to Bisaldeo, excepting as the ancestor of 
Prativa Chahumana tilaka Sakambhari bhupati ; or ‘ Prithiraja 
Chauhan, the anointed of Sambhar, Lord of the earth,’ who ruled 
at Delhi in S. 1220, and was slain in S. 1249, retaining the ancient 
epithet of ‘ Lord of Sambhar,’ one of the early seats of their 
power.® The second stanza, however, tells us we must distrust 

® [These statements regarding the Chauhan d)-nasty are inconsistent 
with the Bijolii inscription, and Cunningham {ASM, i. 157) finds it impos- 
sible to make any satisfactory arrangement, either of the names of the 
princes, or of the length of their reigns. The facts, as far as they can be 
ascertained, are given by Smith {EH I, 386 ff.). Cunningham (op. cit. ii. 
256) points out the author twice ignores the date of a.d. 1163 of Visaladeva 
on the Delhi pillar, to make him an opponent of Mahmud in the beginning 
of the eleventh century. “ Iii one place he gives to Hansra), whom the 
Kara bard assigns to the year a.d. 770, the honour of conquering Sabuktigin, 
which in another place he gives to his successor Dujgandeo.’’, He concludes 
that the chief cause of error is the identification of two different princes of 
the name of Visaladeva as one person. For his discussion see ASM, ii. 
256 f.] 

® See Asiatic EesearcTies, vol. i. p. 379, vol. vii. p. 180, and vol. ix. p. 453. 
[Nigambhod Ghat is immediately outside the north wall of Shahjahanabad, 
and above, not below, the city of Delhi {ASM, i. 136, 161. 164).] 

® I brought away an inscription of this, the last Chauhan emperor, 
from the rums of his palace at Hasi or Hansi, dated S. 1224. See comments 
thereon, TTaiisaciiots of the Moyal Asiatic Society^ vol. i. p. 133. 



From Anhal to Bilaodpo, these are hut a few of the leading names. From 
Bilandeo the chain is coiitiiiuoii.s to the last Chauhan king, Pritluraj. 


CHAUHAN GENEALOGY 


146 ' 3 ' 


Auhal 


feavacha. 

1 

Malau . 

I 

Ganal Sm. 


8. 202 


8. 741 

S. S27 


8 IOC*. 
UdO 


Ajaipala 


Chakravaitin. 


to 


Idiola Rae 


Manika Bar 


Harsiaj 


Bir Biiau<!eo . 


Bisaideo 

, I 

Sarangdeo 


Ana 


,Or Agnipala, ‘offspring of lire,’ the 
I first Chauhan ; probable period 650 
I before Vikrama, when an invasion 
■< of the Turushkas took place ; 

I established Mahishiuati ♦ nagari 
1 (Garha*mandala) ; conquered the 
Konkin, Asir, Golkonda. 

/ In all probability this isthe patriarch 
\ of the Mallani tribe, see p. 1272. 

fOr uni\ersal potentate; founder of 
I Ajmer. Same authorities say, in 

< 202 ol the Vikrama ; others of the 
I Viiat'Samvat : the latter is the 

V most probable. 

rSlaiii, and lost Ajmer, on the Urst 
irruption of the Muhammadans, S. 
^ 741, A.D. GS5. 

f Founded Sambhar: hence the title 
'! of Sainbhan • Rao borne by the 
I Chauhan princes, his issue. 

/ Defeatt^d Nasiru-d-din (qu. Sahuk- 

< tigin’O, -thence styled ‘Sultan- 

V graha.' 

j Or Dharmagij ; slain defending 
\ Ajmer against Mahmud of Ghazni. 

/ (Classically, Visalade^a) ; his period, 
' from various inscriptions, S. 1066 
( to S. 1130. 

Died m nonage. 

/Constructed the Ana-Sagar at 
\ Ajmer ; still bears his name. 


Jaipal 


Harspal. 


Ajaideo, 

or 

Ananddeo. 


I 

Bijaideo. 


Udaideo. 


Someswar : 
married Ruka Bai, 
daughter of Anangpal 
Tuar king of Delhi. 


Kan Bae. 


! 

Jeth, Goelwal. 


Isardas ; 

turned Muhammadan. 


I 

Pi'ithiraj ; 

obtained Delhi ; slain by 
8hil\abu-d-din . 8. 1240, 
A.D. 1193. 


Rainsi ; 

slain in the sack 
of Delhi. 


Lakhansi 


Chahii-deo. 


Vijaya Raj. 


/ Adopted successor to Pnthiraj ; his 
/ name is on the pillar at Delhi. 


{ Had twenty-one sons ; seven of whom were legitimate, 
I the others illegitimate, and founders of mixed tribes. 
- From Lakhansi there are twenty-six generations to 
I Nomddh Smgh, the present chieftain of Nimrana, the 
nearest lineal descendant of Ajaipal and Pnthiraj. 

[ 452 ] 


1458 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


the first of the two dates, and read 1120 (instead of 1220), when 
Visaladeva “ exterminated the barbarians ” from Aryavarta. 

The numerals 1 and 2 in Sanskrit are easily mistaken. If, how- 
ever, it is decidedly 1220, then the whole inscription belongs to 
Prativa Chahumana, between whom and Visala no less than six 
princes intervene,' and the opening is merely to introduce 
Prithiraja’s lineage, in which the sculptor has foisted in the date. 

I feel inclined to assign the first stanza to Visaladc^•^l (Bisaldeo), 
and what follows to his descendant Prithiraj, who by a conceit 
may have availed himself of the anniversary of the victory of his 
ancestor, to record his own exploits. These exploits were pre- 
cisely of the same nature — successful war against the Islamite, 
in wliich each drove liim from Aryav'arta ; for even the Muslim ^ 
writers acknowledge that Shihabu-d-din was often ignominiously 
defeated before he finally succeeded in making a conquest of 
northern India [133]. 

Date of Visaladeva. — If, as I surmise, the first stanza belongs 
to Bisaldeo, the date is S. 1120, or a.d. 1064, and this grand 

' These inscriptions, while they have given rise to ingenious interpreta- 
tions, demonstrate the little value of mere translations, even when made ^ 
by first-rate scholars, who possess no historical knowledge of the tribes to 
whom they refer. This inscription was first translated by Sir W. Jones in 
1 iSi {Asiatic Researches, vol. i ). A fresh version (from a fresh transcript 
I beUeve) was made by Jlr. Colebrooke in 1800 {Asiatic Researches, vol. vii. ), 
but rather darkening than enhghtening the subject, from attending to his 
pandit s emendatmn, giving to the prince’s name and tribe a metaphorical 
interpretation. Nor was it till Wilford had published his hodge-podge 
Essay on 1 ikramaditya and SaUvahana, that Mr. Colebrooke discovered 
his error, and amended it in a note to that volume ; but even then, without 
rendering the inscription useful as a historical document. I caU Wilford's 
essay a hodge-podge advisedly. It is a paper of immense research ; vast 
materials are brought to his task, but he had an hypothesis, and all was 
confounded to suit it. Chauhans, Solankis, Guhilots, all are amalgamated 
in his crucible. It was from the Sarangadhar Padhati, written by the bard 
of Hamira Chauhan. not king of Mewar (as Wiiford has it), but of Ran- 
thambhor, hneally descended from Visaladeva, and slain by Alau-d-din. ' 
Sarangadhar was also author of the Hamir Raesa, and the Hamir Kavya 
bearing this prince’s name, the essence of both of which I translated with 
the aid of my Guru. [For these works see Grierson, Modem Literature of 
Hmdnstap, 6.] I was long bewildered in my admiration of Wilford's 
researches; but experience inspired distrust, and I adopted the useful 
adage in all these matters, ‘ vil admirari.’ [Cunningham, while admittiim 
the wild speculations of Wilford, says that important facts and classical 
references are to be found in his Essays {A SR, i. Introd. xviii. note ] 



ViSALADEVA 


1459 


confederation described by the Chauhan bard was assembled 
under his banner, preparatory to the very success, to com- 
memorate which the inscription was recorded. 

In the passage quoted from Chand, recording the princes who 
led their household troops under Bisaldeo, there are four names 
which establish synchronisms : one by which we arrive directly 
at the date, and three indirectly. The first is Udayaditya Pramar, 
king of Dhar (son of Raja Bhoj), whose period I established from 
numerous inscriptions,^ as between S. 1100 and S. 1150 ; so that 
the date of his joining the expedition w'ould be about the middle 
of Ms reign. The indirect but equally strong testimony consists of. 

First, The mention of “ the Bhumia Bhatti from Derawar ” ; “ 
for had there been anything apocryphal in Chand, Jaisalmer, the 
present capital, would have been given as the Bhatti abode.® 

Second, The Kachhwahas, who are also described as coming 
from Antarved (the region between the Jumna and Ganges) ; for 
the infant colony transmitted from Narwar to Amber was yet 
undistinguished. 

The tMrd proof is in the Mewar inscription, when Tejsi, the 
grandfather of Samarsi, is described as in alliance with Bisaldeo. 
Bisaldeo is said to have lived si.xty-four years. Supposing this 
date, S. 1120, to be the medium point of his existence, this would 
make Ms date S. 1088 to S. 1152, or a.d. 1032 to a.d. 1096 ; but 
as his father, Dharmagaj, ‘ the elephant in faith,’ or Bir BUandeo 
(called Malandeo, in the Ilamir Raesa), was killed defending 
Ajmer on the last invasion of Mahmud, we must necessarily place 
Bisal's birth (supposing him an infant on that event), ten years 
earlier, or a.d. 1022 (S. 1078), to a.d. 1086 (S. 1 1 42), comprehendmg 
the date on the pillar of Delhi, and by computation all the periods 

® See Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, toI. i. p. 133. 

- See Annals of Jaisalmer, for foundation of Derawar, Vol. II, p. 1196. 

® In transcribmg the Annals of the Khichis, an important branch of the 
Chauhans, their bards have preserved this passage ; but ignorant of Dera- 
war and Lodorva (both preserved in my version of Chand), they have 
inserted Jaisalmer. By such anachronisms, arising from the emendations 
of ignorant bards, their poetic chronicles have lost half their value. To me 
the comparison of such passages, preserved in Chand from the older bards, 
and distorted by the modems, was a subject of considerable pleasure. It 
reconciled much that I might have thrown away, teaching me the difference 
between absolute invention, and ignorance creating errors in the attempt 
to correct them. The Khichi bard, no doubt, thought he was doing right 
when he erased Derawar and inscribed Jaisalmer. 


1460 ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; BCNDI 

mentioned in the catalogue. We may therefore safely adopt the 
date of the Raesa, namely S. 1066 to S. 1130. 

Bisaldeo was, therefore, contemporary with Jaipal, the Tuar 
king of Delhi ; with [454] Durlabha and Bhima of Gujarat ; with 
Bhoj and LMayaditya of Dhar ; with Padamsi and Tejsi of Mewar ; 
and the confederacy which he headed must have been that against 
the Islamite king Maudud, the fourth from Mahmud of Ghazni, 
whose expulsion from the northern parts of Rajputana (as re- 
corded on the pillar of Delhi) caused Aryavarta again to beeome 
‘ the land of virtue.’ Malimud’s final retreat from India by Sind, 
to avoid the armies collected ‘‘ by Bairamdeo and the prince of 
Ajmer ” to oppose him, was in a.h. 417, a.d. 1026, or S. 1082, 
nearly the same date as that assigned by Chand, S. 1086.^ 

We could dilate on the war which Bisaldeo waged against the 
prince of Gujarat, his victory, and the erection of Bisalnagar,” 
on the spot where victory perched upon his lance ; but this we re- 
serve for the introduction of the history of the illustrious Prithiraj. 
There is much fable mixed up with the history of Bisaldeo, 
apparently invented to hide a blot in the annals, warranting the 
inference that he became a convert, in all likelihood a compulsory 
one, to the doctrines of Islam. There is also the appearance of 
his subsequent expiation of this crime in the garb of a penitent ; 
and the mound (dhundh), where he took up his abode, still exists, 
and is called after him, Bisal-ka-dhundh, at Kalakh Jobner.’ 

According to the Book of Kings of Govind Ram (the Kara 
bard), the Haras were descended from Anuraj, son of Bisaldeo ; 

^ [The correct dates are as follows : Visaladeva, middle of 12th century 
A.D. (Smith, EHI, 386) ; Jayapala of Delhi succeeded 1005 (ASB, i. 149) ; 
Durlabha Chaulukya and Bhima, respectively 1010 — 22, 1022-64 {BG, 
i. Part i. 1626) ; Tej Singh or Tejsi, Rawal of Chitor about 1260-67 
(Erskine ii. B. 10) ; Bhoja of Malwa, 1018-60 (Smith, EHI, 395).] 

^ This town — another proof of the veracity of the chronicle — yet exists m 
Northern Gujarat. [13 miles N. of Baroda. It is doubtful if it takes its 
name from Visaladeva of Delhi. At any rate, it is said to have been restored 
by Visaladeva Vaghela (a.d. 1243-61) (BG, i. Part i. 203).] 

“ [See p. 1328.] The pickaxe, if applied to this mound (which gives 
its name to Dhundhar), might possibly show it to be a place of sepulture, 
and that the Chauhans, even to this period, may have entombed at leust 
the bones of their dead. The numerous tumuli about Haidaiabad, the 
ancient Gualkund, one of the royal abodes of the Chauhans, may be sepul- 
tures of this race, and the arms and vases they contain all strengthen my 
hypothesis of their Scythic origin. [See p. 1445.] 



ISHTPAL 


1461 


but Mogji, the IQiichi bard,"^ makes Anuraj progenitor of the 
Khichis, and son of Manika Rae. We follow the Kara bard. 

Anuraj had assigned to him in appanage the important 
frontier fortress of Asi (vulg. Hansi). His son Ishtpal, together 
with Aganraj, son of Ajairao, the founder of Khichpur Patan in 
Sind-Sagar, was preparing to seek his fortunes with Randhir 
Chauhan, prince of Gualkund ; but both Asi and Golkonda were 
alfnost simultaneously assailed by an army “ from the wilds of 
Kujliban.” Randhir performed the sakha ; and only a single 
female, his daughter, named Siirabhi, survived, and she fled for 
protection towards Asi, then attacked by the same furious invader. 
Anuraj prepared to fly ; but his son, Ishtpal, determined not to 
wait the attack, but seek the foe. A battle ensued, when the 
invader was slain, and Ishtpal, grievously wounded, pursued him 
till he fell, near the spot where Surabhi was awaiting death under 
the shade of a pipal : for “ hopes of life were extinct, and fear and 
hunger had [455] reduced her to a skeleton.” In the moment of 
despair, however, the asvattha (pipal) tree under which she took 
shelter was severed, and Asapuma, the guardian goddess of her 
race, appeared before her. To her, Surabhi related how her father 
and twelve brothers had fallen in defending Golkonda against 
‘ the demon of Kujliban.’ The goddess told her to be of good 
cheer, for that a Chauhan of her own race had slain him, and was 
then at hand ; and led her to where Ishtpal lay senseless from his 
wounds. By her aid he recovered,® and possessed himself of that 
ancient heirloom of the Chauhans, the famed fortress of Asir. 

Ishtpal, the founder of the Haras, obtained Asir in S. 1081 ® 
(or A.D. 1025) ; and as Malimud’s last destructive visit to India, 
by Multan through the desert to Ajmer, was in a.h. 714, or a.d. 

^ [Grierson, Modern Literature of Hindustan, 143, 164.] 

® Or, as the story goes, his limbs, which lay dissevered, were collected 
by Surabhi, and the goddess sprinkling them with ‘ the water of life,’ he 
arose ! Hence the name Hara, which his descendants bore, from har, or 
‘ bones,’ thus coOected ; but more likely from having lost (hara) Asi. [See 
p. 1441.] 

’ The Hara chronicle says S. 981, but by some strange, yet uniform 
error, all the tribes of the Chauhans antedate their chronicles by a hundred 
years. Thus Bisaldeo’s taking possession of Anhilpar Patan is “ nine 
hundred, fifty, thirty and six ” (S. 986), instead of S. 1086. But it even 
pervades Chand the poet of Prithiraj, whose birth is made 1115, instead of 
S. 1215 ; and here, in all probability, the error commenced, by the ignorance 
(wilful we cannot imagine) of some rhymer. 



1462 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BDNDI 


1022, we have ev'ery right to conclude that his father Anuraj 
lost his life and Asi to the king of Ghazni ; at the same time that 
Ajmer was saeked, and the country laid waste by this conqueror, 
whom the Hindu bard might well style “ the demon from Kujli- 
ban." * The Muhammadan historians give us no hint even of 
any portion of Mahmud’s army penetrating into the peninsula, 
though that grasping ambition, which considered the shores of 
Saurashtra but an intermediate step from Ghazni to the conquest 
of Ceylon and Pegu, may have pushed an army during his long 
halt at Anliilwara, and have driven Randhir from Golkonda.- 
But it is idle to speculate upon such slender materials ; let them 
suffice to illustrate one new fact, namely, that these kingdoms 
of the south as well as the north were held by Rajput sovereigns, 
whose offspring, blending with the original population, produced 
that mixed race of Mahrattas, inheriting with the names the 
warlike propensities of their ancestors, but who assume the 
name of their abodes as titles, as the Nimbalkars, the Phalkias, the 
Patankars, instead of their tribes of Jadon, Tuar, Puar, etc. etc. 

Ishtpal had a son called Chandkaran : his son, Lokpal, had 
Hamir and Gambhir, names well known in the wars of Prithiraj. 
The brothers were enrolled amongst his [456] one hundred and 
eight great vassals, from which we may infer that, though Asir 
was not considered absolutely as a fief, its chief paid homage to 
Ajmer, as the principal seat of the Chauhans. 

In the Kanauj Samaya, that book of the poems of Chand 
devoted to the famous war in which the Chauhan prince carries 
off the princess of Kanauj, honourable mention is made of the 
Hara princes in the third day's fight, when they covered the 
retreat of Prithiraj : 

“ Then did the Hara Rao Hamir, with his brother Gambhir, 
mounted on Lakhi steeds,’ approach their lord, as thus they 

’ ‘ The elephant wilds.’ [Skt. kunjati, ‘ a female elephant,’ vana, 
Hindi ban, ‘forest.’] They assert that Ghazni is properly Gajni. founded 
by the Yadus : and in a curious specimen of Hindu geofjraphy (presented 
by me to the Royal Asiatic Society), all the tract about the glaciers of the 
Ganges is termed Kujliban, the ‘ Elephant Forest.' There is a Gajangarh 
mentioned by Abul-i-fazl in the region of Bajaur, inhabited by the Sultana, 
Jadon, and Yusufzai tribes. [This place does not appear in Jarrett's 
translation of the Ain, ii. 391 f.] 

’ See Ferishta i. 15 f. [Mahmud never reached Golkonda.] 

’ [Horses from the Lakhi jungle; see Vol. II. p. lloG.] 



RAO CHAND 


1463 


spoke ; ‘ Think of thy safety, Jangales,’ while we make offerings 
to the array of Jaichand. Our horses’ hoofs shall plough the 
field of fight, like the ship of the ocean.’ ” 

The brothers encountered the contingent of the prince of Kasi 
(Benares), one of the great feudatories of Kanauj . As they joined, 

“ the shout raised by Haniir reached Durga on her rock-bound 
throne.” Both brothers fell in these wars, though one of the 
few survivors of the last battle fought with Shihabu-d-din for 
Rajput independence, was a Kara — 

Hamir had Kalkaran, who had Mahamagd : his son was Rao 
Bacha ; his, Rao Chand. 

Rao Chand. — Amongst the many independent princes of the 
Chauhan race to whom Alau-d-din was the messenger of fate, 
was Rao Chand of Asir. Its walls, though deemed impregnable, 
W'cre not proof against the skill and valour of this energetic 
w'arrior ; and Chand and all his family, with the exception of one 
son, were put to the sword. This son was prince Rainsi, a name 
fatal to Chauhan heirs, for it was borne by the son of Prithiraj 
who fell in the defence of Delhi : but Rainsi of Asir was more 
fortunate. He was but an infant of two years and a half old, 
and being nephew of the Rana of Chitor, was sent to him for pro- 
tection. IVTien he attained man’s estate, he made a successful 
attempt upon the ruined castle of Bhainsror, from which he drove 
Dunga, a Bhil chief, who, vrith a band of his mountain brethren, 
had made it his retreat. This ancient fief of Mewar had been 
dismantled by Alau-d-din in his attack on Chitor, from which the 
Ranas had not yet recovered when the young Chauhan came 
amongst them for protection. 

Rainsi had two sons, Kolan and Kankhal. Kolan being 
afflicted with an incurable disease, commenced a pilgrimage to 
the sacred Kedarnath, one of the towns of the [457] Ganges. To 
obtain the full benefit of this meritorious act, he determined to 
measure his length on the ground the whole of this painful journey. 
In six months he had only reached the Binda Pass, where, having 
bathed in a fountain whence flows the ri\Tilet Banganga, he found 
his health greatly restored. Kedarnath ^ was pleased to manifest 

1 .Jangales, ‘lord of the forest lands,’ another of Prithiraj's titles. 

“ ‘ The lord of Kedar,’ the gigantic pine of the Himalaya, a title of Siva. 
[Kedarnath in Garhwal District. The derivation of Kedar is unknown : 
it certainly does not mean ‘ pine or cedar.’] 


1464 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


himself, to accept his devotions, and to declare him ‘ King of the 
Patar,’ or plateau of Central India.^ The whole of this tract 
was under the princes of Chitor, but the sack of this famed fortress 
by Ala, and the enormous slaughter of the Guhilots, had so 
weakened their authority, that the aboriginal Minas had once 
more possessed themselves of all their nativ^e hills, or leagued 
with the subordinate vassals of Chitor. 

Angatsi, the Hun. — In ancient times. Raja Hun, said to be of 
the Pramara race, was lord of the Patar, and held his court at 
Menal. There are many memorials of this Hun or Hun prince, 
and even so far back as the first assault of Chitor, in the eighth 
centurj', its prince was aided in his defence by ‘Angatsi, lord of 
the Huns,’ The celebrated temples of Barolli are attributed to 
this Hun Raja, who appears in so questionable a shape, that we 
can scarcely refuse to believe that a branch of this celebrated race 
must in the first centuries of Vikrama have been admitted, as 
their bards say, amongst the Thirty-six Royal Racesof the Rajputs. 
Be this as it may, Rao Banga, the grandson of Kolan, took pos- 
session of the ancient Menal, and on an elevation commanding 
the western face of the Pathar erected the fortress of Bumbaoda. 
With Bhainsror on the east, and Bumbaoda and Menal on the 
west, the Haras now occupied the whole extent of the Patar. 
Other conquests were made, and Mandalgarh, Bijolli, Begun, 
Ratnagarh. and Churetagarh, formed an extensive, if not a rich, 
chieftainship. 

Rao Banga had twelve sons, who dispersed their progeny over 
the Patar. He was succeeded by Dewa, who had three sons, 
namely, Harraj,^ Hatiji, and Samarsi. 

Dewa. — The Haras had now obtained such power as to 
attract the attention of the emperor, and Rae Dewa was siun- 
moned to attend the court when Sikandar Lodi ruled.® He 

1 He bestowed in appanage on his brother Kankhalji a tenth of the lands 
in his possession. From Kankhal are descended the class of Bhats, called 
Kroria Bhat. 

* Harraj had twelve sons, the eldest of whom was Alu, who succeeded 
to Bumbaoda. Alu Hara’s name will never die as long as one of his race 
inhabits the Patar ; and there are many Bhumias descended from him 
still holding lands, as the Kumbhawat and Bhojawat Haras. The end of 
Alu Hara, and the destruction of Bumbaoda (which the author has visited), 
will be related in the Personal Narrative. 

* jA.D. 1489-1517.] 



RAO DEWA 


1465 


[458] therefore installed his son Harraj in Bumbaoda, and with 
his youngest, Samarsi, repaired to Delhi. Here he remained, 
tUI the emperor coveting a horse of the ‘ king of the Patar,’ the 
latter determined to regain his native hills. This steed is famed 
both in the annals of the Haras and Khichis, and, like that of the 
Mede, had no small share in the future fortunes of his master. 
Its birth is thus related. The king had a horse of such mettle, 
that “ he could cross a stream without wetting his hoof.” Dewa 
bribed the royal equerrj% and from a' mare of the Patar had a 
colt, to obtain which the king broke that law which is alike 
binding on the Muslim and the Christian. Dewa sent off his 
family by degrees, and as soon as they were out of danger, he 
saddled his charger, and lance in hand appeared under the balcony 
where the emperor was seated. “ Farewell, king,” said the 
Rangra ; “ there are three things your majesty must never ask 
of a Rajput ; his horse, his mistress, and his sword.” He gave 
his steed the rein, and in safety regained the Patar. Ha^^ng 
resigned Bumbaoda to Harraj, he came to Bandunal, the spot 
where his ancestor Kolan was cured of disease. Here the Minas 
of the Usara tribe dwelt, under the patriarchal government of 
Jetha, their chief. There was then no regular city ; the extremi- 
ties of the valley (thal *) were closed with barriers of masonry and 
gates, and the huts of the Minas were scattered wherever their 
fancy led them to build. At this time the community, which 
had professed obedience to the Rana on the sack of Chitor, was 
suffering from the raids of Rao Ganga, the Khichi, who from his 
castle of Ramgarh (Relawan) imposed ‘ barchhidohai ’ ® on all 
around. To save themselves from Ganga, who used “ to drive 
his lance at the barrier of Bandu,” the Minas entered into terms, 
agreeing, on the full moon of every second month, to suspend the 
tribute of the chauth over the barrier. At the appointed time, 
the Rao came, but no bag of treasure appeared. “Who has 
been before me ? ” demanded Ganga ; when forth issued the 
‘ lord of the Patar,’ on the steed coveted by the Lodi king. 
Ganga of Relawan bestrode a charger not less famed than his 
-■ antagonist’s, “ which owed his birth to the river-horse of the 
Par, and a mare of the Khichi chieftain’s, as she grazed on its 

^ Thai and Nal are both terms for a valley, though the latter is oftener 
applied to a defile. 

* [The ‘ appeal to the spear.’] 

VOL. IM 


P 



1466 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : Rt^NDI 


margin.' Mounted on this steed, no obstacle could stop him, 
and even the Chambal was no impediment to his seizing the 
tribute at all seasons from the Minas” [459]. 

The encounter was fierce, but the Hara was victorious, and 
Ganga turned liis back on the lord of the Patar, who tried the 
mettle of this son of the Par, pursuing him to the banks of the 
Chambal. What was his surprise, when Ganga sprang from the 
cliff, and horse and rider disappeared in the flood, but soon to 
reappear on the opposite bank ! Dewa, who stood amazed, no 
sooner beheld the Rao emerge, than he exclaimed, “ Bravo, 
Rajput ! Let me know your name.” ” Ganga Khichi,” was 
the answer. “ And mine is Dewa Hara ; we are brothers, and 
must no longer be enemies. Let the river be our boundary.” 

The Foundation of Bundi. — It was in S. 1398 (a.d. 1342) ' that 
Jetha and the Usaras acknowledged Rae Dewa as their lord, who 
erected Bundi in the centre of the Bandu-ka-Nal, which hence- 
forth became the capital of the Haras. The Chambal, which, for 
a short time after the adventure here related, continued to be 
the barrier to the eastward, was soon overpassed, and the bravery 
of the race bringing them into contact with the emperor’s lieu* 
tenants, the Haras rose to favour and power, extending their 
acquisitions, either by conquest or grant, to the confines of Malwa. 
The territory thus acquired obtained the geographical designation 
of Haravati or Haraoti.' 


CHAPTER 2 

Recapitulation of Hara History. — Having sketched the history 
of this race, from the regeneration of Anhal,‘ the first Chauhan 
(at a period which it is impossible to fix), to the establishment of 
the first Hara prince in Bundi, we shall here recapitulate the most 
conspicuous princes, with [460] their dates, as established by 
synchronical events in the annals of other States, or by inscrip- 
tions ; and then proceed with the history of the Haras as members 
of the great commonwealth of India. 

' The Par, or Parbati River, flows near Ramgarh Relawan. — See Map. 

' [This conflicts with the statement above that Rao Dewa reigned in 
the time of Sikandar Lodi.] ° 

' In Muhammadan authors, Hadaoti. {Ain, ii. 271.) 

‘ Anhal [anal] and Ag7n have the same signification, namely, ‘ fire.’ 



RAO DEWA : HIS ABDICATION 


1467 


Anuraj, obtained Asi or Hansi. 

Ishtpal, son of Anuraj ; he was expelled from Asi, S. 1081 
(a.d. 1025), and obtained Asir. He was founder of the Haras ; 
the chronicle says not how long after obtaining Asi, but evidently 
very soon. 

Hamir, killed in the battle of the Ghaggar, on the invasion of 
Shihabu-d-din, S. 1249, or a.d. 1193. 

Rao Chand, slain in Asir, by Alau-d-din, in S. 1351. 

Rainsi, fled from Asir, and came to Hewar, and in S. 1353 
obtained Bhainsror. 

Rao Banga, obtained Bumbaoda. Menal, etc. 

Rao Dewa, S. 1398 (a.d. 1342), took the Bandu valley from 
the ]Minas, founded the city of Bundi, and styled the country 
Haravati. 

Rao Dewa, whose Mina subjects far outnumbered his Haras, 
had reeourse, in order to consolidate his authority, to one of those 
barbarous acts too common in Rajput conquests. The Rajput 
chronicler so far palliates the deed, that he assigns a reason for 
it, namely, the insolence of the Mina leader, who dare4 to ask a 
daughter of the ‘ lord of the Patar.’ Be this as it may, he 
called in- the aid of the Haras of Bumbaoda and the Solankis of 
Toda, and almost annihilated the Usaras. 

Abdication of Rao Dewa. — How long it was after this act of 
barbarity that Dewa abdicated in favour of his son, is not men- 
tioned, though it is far from improbable that this crime influenced 
his determination. This was the second time of bis abdication 
, of power : first, when he gave Bumbaoda to Harraj, and went 
to Sikandar Lodi ; and now to Samarsi. the branches of Bundi 
and the Patar remaining independent of each other. The act 
of abdication confers the title of Jugraj ; ^ or when they conjoin 
the authority of the son with the father, the heir is styled Jivaraj. 
^ Four instances of this are on record in the annals of Bundi ; 
namely, by Dewa, by Narayandas, bj"- Raj Chhattar Sal, and by 
Sriji Ummed Singh. It is a rule for a prince never to enter the 
capital after abandoning the government ; the king is virtually 
defunct ; he cannot be a subject, and he is no longer a king. To 
j render the act more impressive, they make an effigy of the abdi- 
cated king, and on the twelfth day following the act (being the 

^ Yuga-Raj, ‘sacrifice of the government.’ [Possibly confused with 
Yuvaraja, ‘ heir-apparent.’] 



1468 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


usual period of [461] mourning) they commit it to the flamesd 
In accordance with this custom, Dewa never afterwards entered 
the walls either of Bundi or Bumbaoda," but resided at the village 
of Umarthuna, five coss from the former, till his death. 

Napuji. — Samarsi had three sons : 1 . Napuji, who suc- 
ceeded ; 2. Harpal, who obtained Jajawar, and left numerous 
issue, called Harpalpotas ; and 3. Jethsi, who had the honour of 
first extending the Hara name beyond the Chambal. On his 
return from a visit to the Tuar chief of Kaithan, he passed the 
residence of a community of Bhils, in an extensive ravine near 
the river. Taking them by surprise, he attacked them, and they 
fell victims to the fury of the Haras. At the entrance of tliis 
ravine, which was defended by an outwork, Jethsi slew the leader 
of the Bhils, and erected there a halhi (elephant) to the god of 
battle, Bhairon. He stands on the spot called Char-jhopra, 
near the chief portal of the castle of Kotah, a name derived 
from a community of Bhils called Kotia,’ 

^ [Durlabha Cliaulukya of Gujarat went on a pilgrimage and abdicated. 
“ Such a resignation of royal state seems to have been a constant practice 
in ancient times, the Rajput princes esteeming a death in the holy land of 
Gaya as the safe passage to beatitude ” (Forbes, Rasmala, 54). A defeated 
king was required to resign his throne (EUiot-Dowson ii. 27). See Frazer, 
Oolden Bough, 3rd ed. Part iii. 148 if.] 

^ Harraj (elder son of Dewa), lord of Bumbaoda, had twelve sons ; of 
whom Alu Kara, the eldest, held twenty-four castles upon the Patar. 
With all of these the author is familiar, having trod the Patar in every 
direction : of this, anon. 

® [This is a folk etymology, the real name of the Bhil sept being Khota.] 
The descendants of Jethsi retained the castle and the surrounding country 
for several generations ; when Bhonangsi, the fifth in descent, was 
dispossessed of them by Rao Surajmall of Bundi. Jethsi had a son, Surjan, 
who gave the name of Kotah to this abode of the Bhils, round which he 
built a wall. His son Dhirdeo excavated twelve lakes, and dammed up 
that east of the town, stiU known by his name, though better by its new 
appellation of Kisbor Sagar His son was Kandhal, who had Bhonanvsi, 
who lost and regained Kotah in the following manner. Kotah*was seized 
by two Patbans, Dhakar and Kesar Khan. Bhonang, who became mad 
from excessive use of wine and opium, was banished to Bundi, and his wife, 
at the head of his household vassals, retired to Kaithan, around which the 
Haras held three hundred and sixty villages. Bhonang, in exile, repented 
of his excesses ; he annoimoed his amendment and his wish to return to 
his wife and kin The intrepid Rajputni rejoiced at his restoration, and 
laid a plan for the recovery of Kotah, in which she destined him to take 
part. To attempt it by force would have been to court destruction, and 



NAPUJI 


1469 


Napuji. — Napuji, a name of no small note in the chronicles of 
Haravati, succeeded Samarsi. Napuji had married a daughter 
of the Solanki, chief of Toda,* the lineal descendant of the ancient 
kings of Anhilwara. While on a visit to Toda, a slab of beautiful 
marble attracted the regard of the Kara Rao, who desired his 
bride to ask it of her father. His delicacy was offended, and he 
replied, “ he supposed the Kara would next ask him for his wife ” ; 
and desired him to depart. Napuji was incensed, and visited his 
anger upon his wife, whom he treated with neglect and even 
banished from his bed. She complained to her father. On the. 
Kajri Tij, the joyous tliird of the [462] month Sawan, when a 
Rajput must visit his wife, the vassals of Bundi were dismissed 
to their homes to keep the festival sacred to ‘ the mother of 
births.’ The Toda Rao, taking advantage of the unguarded 
state of Bundi, obtained admittance by stealth, and drove his 
lance through the head of the Hara Rao. He retired without 
observation, and was relating to his attendants the success of his 
revenge, when, at this moment, they passed one of the Bundi 
vassals, who, seated in a hollow taking his amal-pani (opium- 
water), was meditating on the folly of going home, where no 
endearing caresses awaited him from his wife, who was deranged, 
and had determined to return to Bundi. IMiile thus absorbed in 
gloomy reflections, the trampling of horses met his ear, and soon 
was heard the indecent mirth of the Toda Rao’s party, at the 
Hara Rao dismissing his vassals and remaining unattended. The 
Chauhan guessed the rest, and as the Toda Rao passed close to 

she determined to combine stratagem and courage. When the jocund 
festival of spring approached, when even decorum is for a wliile cast aside 
in the Rajput Satumaha, she invited heiseh, with aU the youthful damsels 
of Kaithan, to play the Holi with the Pathans of Kotah. The libertine 
Pathans received the invitation with joy, happy to find the queen of Kaithan 
evince so. much amity. Collecting three hundred of the finest Hara youths, 
she disguised them in female apparel, and Bhonang, attended by the old 
nurse, each with a vessel of the crimson abir, headed the band. While 
the youths were throwing the crimson powder amongst the Pathans, the 
nurse led Bhonang to play with their chief. The disguised Hara broke his 
vessel on the head of Kesar Khan. This was the signal for action : the 
Rajputs drew their swords from beneath their ghaghras (petticoats), and 
the bodies of Kesar and his gang strewed the terrace. The nmsjid of Kesar 
Khan stOl exists within the walls. Bhonang was succeeded by his son 
Dungarsi, whom Rao Surajmall dispossessed and added Kotah to Bundi. 

^ [About 60 miles S.W. of Ajmer city.] 



1470 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtJNDl 


him, he levelled a blow, which severed his right arm from his body 
and brought liim from his horse. The Solanki’s attendants took 
to flight, and the Chaulian put the severed limb, on which was 
the golden bracelet, in his scarf, and proceeded back to Bundi. 
Here all was confusion and sorrow. The Solanki queen, true to 
her faith, determined to mount the pyre with the murdered body 
of her lord ; yet equally true to the line whence she sprung, was 
praising the vigour of her brother's arm, “ which had made so 
many mouths,^ that she wanted hands to present a pan to each.” 
At the moment she was apostrophizing the dead body of her lord, 
his faithful vassal entered, and undoing the scarf presented to 
her the dissevered arm, saying, “ Perhaps this may aid you.” 
She recognized the bracelet, and though, as a Sati, she had done 
with tliis world, and should die in peace with all mankind, she 
could not forget, even at that dread moment, that to revenge a 
feud ” was the first of all duties. She called for pen and ink, and 
before mouiiting the pyre wrote to her brother, that if he did not 
wipe oft that disgrace, his seed would be stigmatized as the issue 
of “ the one-handed Solanki.'’ When he perused the dying words 
of his Sati sister, he was stung to the soul, and being incapable 
of revenge, immediately dashed out his brains against a pillar 
of the hall. 

Hamuji. Alu. — Napuji had four sons, Hamuji, Naurang 
(whose descendants are Naurangpotas), Tharad (whose descend- 
ants are Tharad Haras), and Haniu, who succeeded in S. 1440. 
W’e have already mentioned the separation of the branches, when 
Harraj retained Biunbaoda, at the period when his father estab- 
lished himself at Bundi. Alu Hara [463] succeeded ; but the 
lord of the Patar had a feud with the Rana, and he was dis- 
possessed of his birthright. Bumbaoda was levelled, and he 
left no heirs to his revenge. 

Mewar attempfs to regain Influence in Bundi. — The princes of 
Chitor, who had recovered from the shock of Ala’s invasion, now 
re-exerted their strength, the first act of which was the reduction 
of the power of the great vassals, who had taken advantage of 
their distresses to render themselves independent : among these 
they included the Haras. But the Haras deny their vassalage, 
and allege, that though they always acknowledged the supremacy 
of the gaddi of Mewar, they were indebted to their swords, not 
^ “ Poor dumb mouths.” 



ATTEMPT BY ^ffiWAR TO RECOVER INFLUENCE 1471 


his pattas, for the lands they conquered on the Alpine Patar. 
Both to a certain degree are right. There is no room to doubt 
that the fugitive Kara from Asir owed his preservation, as well 
as his establishment, to the Rana, who assuredly possessed the 
whole of the Plateau till Ala's invasion. But then the Sesodia 
power was weakened ; the Bhumias and aboriginal tribes re- 
covered their old retreats, and from these the Haras obtained 
them by conquest. The Rana, however, who would not admit 
that a temporary abeyance of his power sanctioned any encroach- 
ment upon it, called upon Hamu “ to do service for Bundi.” 
The Hara conceded personal homage in the grand festivals of the 
Dasahra and HoU, to acknowledge his supremacy and receive 
the tika of installation ; but he rejected at once the claim of 
imlimited attendance. Nothing less, however, would satisfy 
the king of Chitor, who resolved to compel submission, or drive 
the stock of Dewa from the Patar. Hamu defied, and deter- 
mined to brave, his resentment. The Rana of Mewar marched 
with all his vassals to Bundi, and encamped at Nimera, only a 
few miles from the city. Five himdred Haras, ‘ the sons of one 
father,’ put on the saffron robe, and rallied round their chief, 
determined to die with him. Having no hope but from an effort 
of despair, they marched out at midnight, and fell upon the Rana’s 
camp, which was completely surprised ; and each Sesodia sought 
safety in flight. Hamu made his way direct to the tent of Hindu- 
pati ; 1 but the sovereign of the Sesodias was glad to avail himself 
of the gloom and confusion to seek shelter in Chitor, while his 
vassals fell under the sv/ords of the Haras. 

Humiliated, disgraced, and enraged at being thus foiled by a 
handful of men, the Rana re-formed Ms troops under the walls of 
Chitor, and swore he would not eat until he was master of Bundi. 
The rash vow went round ; but Bundi was sixty miles distant, 
and defended by brave hearts. His cMefs expostulated with the 
Rana on the absolute impossibility of redeeming Ms vow ; but 
the words of kings are sacred : Bundi must fall, ere the king of 
the GuMlots could dine. In tMs exigence, a childish [464] 
expedient was proposed to release him from hunger and his oath ; 
“ to erect a mock Bimdi and take it by storm.” ® Instantly the 

* [‘ Lord of the Hindu,’ a title assumed by the R^as of Mewar.] 

* [This was probably, as in the cases of Dhar and Amber, a form of 
sympathetic magic to ensure the capture of Bundi.] 



1472 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


mimic town arose under the walls of Chitor ; and, that the 
deception might be complete, tlie local nomenclature was attended 
to, and each quarter had its appropriate appellation. A band of 
Haras of the Patar were in tlie service of Chitor, whose leader, 
Kumbha-Bersi, was returning with his kin from hunting the 
deer, when their attention was attracted by this strange bustle. 
The story was soon told, tliat Bundi must fall ere the Rana could 
dine. Kmnbha assembled his brethren of the Patar, declaring 
that even the mock Bundi must be defended. All felt the in- 
dignity to the clan, and each bosom burning with indignation, 
they prepared to protect the mud walls of the pseudo Bundi from 
insult. It was reported to the Rana that Bundi was finished. 
He advanced to the storm : but what was his surprise w'hen, 
instead of tlie blank-cartridge, he heard a volley of balls whiz 
amongst them ! A messenger was dispatched, and was received 
by Bersi at the gate, who explained the cause of the unexpected 
salutation, desiring him to teU the Rana that *• not even the 
mock capital of a Hara should be dishonoured.” Spreading a 
sheet at the little gateway, Bersi and the Kumbhaw’ats invited 
the assault, and at the threshold of “ Gar-ki-Bundi ” (the Bundi 
of clay) they gave up their lives for the honoiur of the race.^ The 
Rana wisely remained satisfied with this salvo to his dignity, nor 
sought any further to wipe off the disgrace incurred at the real 
capital of the Haras, perceiving the impolicy of driving such a 
daring clan to desperation, whose services he could command on 
an emergency. 

Rao Bir Singh. — Hamu, who ruled sixteen years, left two sons : 
1. Birsingh ; and 2. Lala, who obtained Khatkar, and had tw'o 
sons, Nauvarma and Jetha, each of whom left clans called after 
them Nauvarma-pota and Jethawat. Birsingh ruled fifteen 
years, and left three sons : Biru, Jabdu, who founded three tribes,^ 

^ Somewhat akin to this incident is the history of that summer abode 
of kings of France in the Bois de Boulogne at Paris, called “ Madrid.” 
When Francis I. was allowed to return to his capital, he pledged his parole 
that he would return to Madrid. But the delights of liberty and Paris 
were too much for honour ; and while he wavered, a hint was thrown out 
similar to that suggested to the Rana when determined to capture Bundi. 
A mock Madrid arose in the Bois de Boulogne, to which Francis retired. 

- Jabdu had three sons: each founded clans. The eldest, Bacha, had 
two sons, Sewaji and Seranji. The former had Meoji, the latter had 
feawant, whose descendants are styled Meo and Sawant Haras. 



RAO BANDA 


1473 


and Nima, descendants Nimawats. Biru, who died S. 1526, 
ruled fifty years, and had seven sons : 1. Rao Bandu ; 2. Sanda ; 
3. Aka ; 4. Uda ; 5. Chanda ; 6. Samarsingh ; 7. Amarsingh ; 
— ^the first five founded clans named after them Akawat, Udawat, 
Chondawat, but the last two abandoned their faith for that of 
Islam [465]. 

Rw Banda, c. a.d. 1485. — Banda has left a deathless name in 
Rajwara for his boundless charities, more especially dining the 
famine which desolated that coimtry in S. 1542 (a.d. 1486).‘ He 
was forewarned, says the bard, in a vision, of the visitation. Kal 
(Time or the famine personified) appeared riding on a lean black 
buffalo. Grasping his sword and shield, the intrepid Hara 
assaulted the apparition. “ Bravo, Banda Hara,” it exclaimed ; 

“ I am Kal (Time) ; on me your sword will fall in vain. Yet you 
are the only mortal who ever dared to oppose me. Now hsten : 

I am Byahs (forty-two) ; the land will become a desert ; fill your 
granaries, distribute liberally, they will never empty.” Thus 
saying, the spectre vanished. Rao Banda obeyed the injunction ; 
he collected grain from every surrounding State. One year 
passed and another had almost followed, when the periodical 
rains ceased, and a famine ensued which ravaged all India. 
Princes far and near sent for aid to Bundi, while his own poor 
had daily portions served out gratis : which practice is stiU kept 
up in memory of Rao Banda, by the name of Langar-ki-gagari, 
or ‘ anchor of Banda.’ ^ 

But the piety and charity of Rao Banda could not shield him 
from adversity. His two youngest brothers, urged by the 
temptation of power, abandoned their faith, and with the aid of 
the royal power expelled him from Bundi, where, under their 
new titles of Samarkandi and Amarkandi, they jointly ruled 
eleven years. Banda retired to Matunda, in the hiUs, where he 
died after a reign of twenty-one years, and where his cenotaph 
stUl remains. He left two sons : 1. Narayandas ; and 2. Nir- 
budh, who had Matunda. 

* [There was a great drought in Hindustan about a.d. 1491 (Balfour, 
Cychopo/edia of India, i. 1072).] 

® [Langar means ‘ an anchor,’ then ‘ a distribution of food to the poor.’ 
The most famous Instance is that at Haidarabad (Bilgrami-Willmott, Sketch 
of H.H. The Nizam’s Dominions, ii. 875 S.). The googri of the original 
text is possibly gagari, ‘ a little pot.’] 



1474 ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 

Narayandas. — ^Narayan had grown up to manhood in this 
retreat ; but no sooner was he at liberty to act for himself, than 
he assembled the Haras of the Patar, and revealed his deter- 
mination to obtain Bundi, or perish in the attempt. They swore 
to abide his fortunes. After the days of matam (mourning) were 
over, he sent to liis Islamite imcles a complimentary message, 
intimating his wish to pay his respects to them ; and not suspect- 
ing danger from a youth brought up in obscurity, it was signified 
that he might come. 

With a small but devoted band, he reached the chauk (square), 
where he left his adherents, and alone repaired to the palace. 

He ascended to where both the uncles were seated almost un- 
attended. They hked not the resolute demeanour of the youth, 
and tried to gain a passage which led to a subterranean apartment ; 
but no sooner was this intention perceived, than the khan da, or 
‘ double-edged sword,’ of Banda’s son cut the elder to the ground, 
while his lance reached the other before he got to a [466] place 
of security. In an instant, he severed both their heads, with 
which he graced the shrine of Bhavani, and giving a shout to his 
followers in the chauk, their swords were soon at work upon the 
Muslims, Every true Kara supported the just cause, and the 
dead bodies of the apostates and their crew were hurled with 
ignominy over the walls. To commemorate this exploit and the 
recovery of Bundi from these traitors, the pillar on which the 
sword of the young Hara descended, when he struck down Samar- 
kandi, and which bears testimony to the vigour of his arm, is 
annually worshipped by every Hara on the festival of the Dasahra.^ 

Narayandas became celebrated for his strength and prowess. 

He was one of those undaunted Rajputs who are absolutely 
strangers to the impression of fear, and it might be said of danger 
and himself, “ that they were brothers whelped the same day, 
and he the elder.” Unfortunately, these quahties were rendered < 
inert from the enormous quantity of opium he took, which would 
have killed most men ; for it is recorded “ he could at one time 
eat the weight of seven pice.” ‘ The consequence of this vice, 

1 Though called a pillar, it is a slab in the staircase of the old palace, , 
which I have seen. 

2 The copper coin of Bundi, equal to a halfpenny. One pice weight is 
a common dose for an ordinary Rajput, but would send the uninitiated to 
eternal sleep. [According to Cheevers {Medical Jurisprudence in India, 



THE SIEGE OF CHITOR 


1475 


as might be ex{)ected, was a constant stupefaction, of which many 
anecdotes are related. Being called to aid the Rana Raemall, 
then attacked by the Pathans of Mandu, he set out at the head 
of five hundred select Haras. On the first day’s march he was 
taking his siesta, after his usual dose, under a tree, his mouth 
wide open, into which the flies had unmolested ingress, when a 
young Telin ^ came to draw water at the well, and on learning 
that this was Bundi’s prince on his way to aid the Rana in his 
distress, she observed, “ If he gets no other aid than his, alas 
for my prince ! ” “ The amaldar (opium-eater) has quick* ears, 

though no eyes,” is a common adage in Rajwara. “ IVhat is that 
you say, rand (widow) ? ” roared the Rao, advancing to her. 
Upon her endeavouring to excuse herself, he observed, “ Do not 
fear, but repeat it.” In her hand she had an iron crowbar, which 
the Rao, taking it from her, twisted until the ends met round her 
neck. “ Wear this garland for me,” said he, “ until I return 
from aiding the Rana, unless in the interim you can find some one 
strong enough to unbind it.” 

The Siege of Chitor. — Chitor was closely invested ; the Rao 
moved by the intricacies of the Patar, took the royal camp by 
surprise, and made direct for the tent of the generalissimo, cutting 
down all in his way. Confusion and panic seized the Mushms, 
who fled in [467] all directions.’* The Btmdi nakkaras (drums) 
struck up ; and as the morning broke, the besieged had the 
satisfaction to behold the invaders dispersed and their auxiharies 
at hand. Rana Raemall came forth, and conducted his dehverer 
in triumph to Chitor. All the chiefs assembled to do honour to 
Bundi’s prince, and the ladies ‘ behind the curtain ’ felt so httle 
alarm at their opium-eating knight, that the Rana’s niece deter- 
mined to espouse him, and next day communicated her intentions 
to the Rana. ‘ The slave of Narayan ’ was too courteous a 
cavalier to let any fair lady die for his love ; the Rana was too 

227) in Bengal some wretches eat as much as a rupee weight, 180 grains, 
of pure opium daily. If his pice was anything like the weight of that of the 
East India Company (100 grains), the dose of Narayandas must have been 
enormous.] 

1 Wife or daughter of a tdi, or oilman. 

* [Rana Raemall’s opponent is said to have been Ghayasu-d-din of 
Malwa (a.d. 1469-99) : but he is reported to have been a debauchee who 
never left his palace (BO, i. Part i. 362 £[.).] 




1476 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; BCNDI 


sensible of his obligation not to hail with joy any mode of testifying 
liis gratitude, and the nuptials of the Hara and Ketu were cele- 
brated with pomp. With victory and his bride, he returned to 
the Banda valley ; where, however, ‘ the flower of gloomy Dis ’ 
soon gained the ascendant even over Kamdeo,^ and his doses 
augmented to such a degree, that “ he scratched his lady instead 
of himself, and with such severity that he marred the beauty of 
the Mewari.” In the morning, perceiving what had happened, 
yet being assailed with no reproach, he gained a reluctant victory 
over himself, and “ consigned the opium-box to her keeping.” 
Narayandas ruled tliirty-tw'O years, and left his country in 
tranquiUity, and much extended, to his only son, 

Eao Surajmall, c. a.d. 1533. — Surajmall ascended the gaddi in 
S. 1590 (a.d. 1534). Like his father, he was athletic in form and 
dauntless in soul ; and it is said possessed in an eminent degree 
that unerring sign of a hero, long arms, his (like those of Rama 
and Prithiraj) “ reaching far below his knees.” 

The alliance with Chitor was again cemented by intermarriage. 
Suja Bai, sister to Surajmall, was espoused by Rana Ratna, who 
bestowed his own sister on the Rao. Rao Suja, like his father, 
was too partial to his amal. One day, at Chitor, he had fallen 
asleep in the Presence, when a Purbia chief felt an irresistible 
inclination to disturb him, and " tickled the Hara’s ear with a 
straw.” He might as well have jested with a tiger : a back stroke 
with his khanda stretched the insulter on the carpet. The son 
of the Purbia treasured up the feud, and waited for revenge, which 
he effected by making the Rana believe the Rao had other objects 
in view, besides visitmg Ids sister Suja Bai, at the Rawala. The 
train thus laid, the slightest incident inflamed it. The fair Suja 
had prepared a repast, to which she invited both her brother and 
her husband : she had not only attended the culinary process 
herself, but waited on these objects of her love to drive the flies i 
from the food. Though the wedded fair of Rajputana clings to 
the husband, yet she is ever more solicitous for [468] the honour 
of the house from whence she sprimg, than that into which she 
has been admitted ; which feehng has engendered numerous 
quarrels. Unhappily, Suja remarked, on removing the dishes, 
that “ her brother had devoured his share like a tiger, while her 
husband had played with his like a child {balak).” The expression, 

^ [Ketu, the demon who causes eclipses ; Kamdeo, god of love.] 



1477 


MURDER OP RAO StfRAJMALL 

added to other insults which he fancied were put upon him, cost 
the Rao his life, and sent the fair Suja an untimely victim tf) 
Indraloka.’^ The dictates of hospitality prevented the Rana from 
noticing the remark at the moment, and in fact it was more 
accordant with the general tenor of his character to revenge the 
affront with greater security than even the isolated situation of 
the brave Kara afforded him. On the latter taking leave, the 
Rana invited himself to hunt on the next spring festival in the 
ramnas or preserves of Bundi. The merry month of Phalgun 
arrived ; the Rana and his court prepared their suits of ainaua 
(green), and ascended the Patar on the road to Bundi, in spite 
of the anathema of the prophetic Sati, who, as she ascended the 
pjTe at Biunbaoda, pronounced that whenever Rao and Rana 
met to himt together at the Aheria, such meeting, which had 
blasted all her hopes, would always be fatal. But centuries had 
rolled between the denunciation of the daughter of Alu Kara and 
Suja Bai of Bundi ; and the prophecy, tliough in every mouth, 
served merely to amuse the leisure hour ; the moral being for- 
gotten it was only looked upon as ‘ a tale that was past.’ 

Murder of Rao Sdrajmall, — ^The scene chosen for the sport was 
on the heights of Nanta, not far from the western bank of the 
Chambal, in whose glades every species of game, from the lordly 
lion to the timid hare, aboimded. The troops were formed into 
lines, advancing through the jtmgles with the customary noise 
and clamour, and driving before them a promiscuous herd of 
tenants of the forest — lions, tigers, hyenas, bears, everj' species of 
deer, from the enormous barahsinghae and nilgae - to the delicate 
antelope, with jackals, foxes, hares, and the little wild dog. In 
such an animated scene as this, the Rajput forgets even his opium ; 
he requires no exhilaration beyond the stimulus before him ; a 
species of petty war, not altogether free from danger. 

It was amidst the confusion of such a scene that the dastard 
Rana determined to gratify his malice. The princes had con- 
venient stations assigned them, where they could securely assail - 
the game as it passed, each having but one or two confidential 
attendants. With the Rana was the lago of his revenge, the son 
of the Purbia, whom the Kara prince had slain. “ Now is the 

^ [DeatUand, the realm of Indra.] 

“ [The twelve-tined deer. Germs duvanceli ; Boselaphus iragocamelus 
(Blanford, Marmnalia, 538, 517 £F.).] 



14.78 


ANNALS OP HARAVATI : BONDT 


moment,” said the Rana to his companion, “ to slay the boar,” 
and instantly an arrow from the bow of the Purbia was [469] sped 
at the Rao. “ With an eagle’s eye he saw it coming, and turned 
it off with his bow.” This might have been chance, but another 
from the foster-brother of the Rana convinced him there was 
treachery. Scarcely had he warded off the second, when the 
Rana darted at him on horseback, and cut him down with his 
khanda. The Rao fell, but recovering, took his shawl and tightly 
bound up the wound, and as his foe was making off he called 
aloud, “ Escape you may, but you have sunk Mewar.” The 
Purbia, who followed his prince, when he saw the Rao bind up 
his wound, said. “ The work is but half done ” ; and like a coward, 
Ratna once more charged the wounded R>o. As his arm was 
raised to finish the deed of shame, like a wounded tiger the Kara 
made a dying effort, caught the assassin by the robe, and dragged 
him from his steed. Together they came to the ground, the 
Rana underneath. The Rao knelt upon his breast, while, with 
preternatural strength, with one hand he grasped his victim by 
the throat, with the otlier he searched for his dagger. What a 
moment for re%"enge ! He plunged the weapon into his assassin’s 
heart, and saw liim expire at his feet. Tl)e Rao was satisfied ; 
there was no more life left him than sufficed for revenge, and he 
dropped a corpse upon the dead body of his foeman. 

The tidings flew to Bundi, to the mother of the Rao, that her 
son was slain in the Aheria. “ Slain ! ” exclaimed this noble 
dame, “ but did he fall alone ? Never could a son, who has 
drunk at this breast, depart unaccompanied ” ; and as she spoke, 
‘‘ maternal feeling caused the milk to issue from the foimt %vith 
such force, that it rent the slab on which it fell.” 

The Satis.— The dread of dishonour, which quenched the 
common sympathies of nature for the death of her son, had 
scarcely been thus expressed, when a second messenger announced 
the magnitude of his revenge. The Rajput dame was satisfied, 
though fresh horrors were about to follow. The wives of the 
murdered princes could not survive, and the pyres were prepared 
on the fatal field of sport. The fair Suja expiated her jest, which 
cost her a husband and a brother, in the flames, while the sister 
of Rana Ratna, married to tlie Rao, in accordance with custom 
or affection, burned with the dead body of her lord. The ceno- 
taphs of the princes were reared where they fell ; while that of 



RAOS SURTHAN, ARJUN 


1479 


Suja Bai was erected on a pinnacle of the Pass, and adds to the 
picturesque beauty of this romantic valley, which possesses a 
double charm for the traveller, who may have taste to admire 
the scene, and patience to listen to the story [470].* 

Rao Suith^, c. A.D. 1534. — Surthan succeeded in S. 1591 
(a.d. 1535), and married the daughter of the celebrated Sakta, 
founder of the Saktawats of Mewar. He became an ardent 
votarj' of the bloodstained divinity of war, Kal-Bhairava, and 
like almost all those ferocious Rajputs who resign themselves to 
his horrid rites, grew cruel and at length deranged. Human 
victims are the chief offerings to this brutalized personification of 
war, though Surthan was satisfied with the eyes of his subjects, 
which he placed upon the altar of ‘ the mother of war.’ It was 
then time to question the divine right by which he ruled. The 
assembled nobles deposed and banished him from Bundi, assigning 
a small village on the Chambal for his residence, to which he gave 
the name Surthanpur, which survives to bear testimony to one 
of many instances of the deposition of their princes by the Rajputs, 
when they offend custom or morality. Having no offspring, the 
nobles elected the son of Nirbudh, son of Rao Banda, who had 
been brought up in his patrimoiual \'illage of Matunda. 

Rao Arjun. — Rao Arjuir, the eldest of the eight sons ^ of 
Nirbudh, succeeded his banished cousin. Nothing can more 
effectually evince the total extinction of animositj' between these 
valiant races, when once ‘ a feud is balanced,’ than the fact of 
Rao Arjun, soon after his accession, devoting himself and his 
valiant kinsmen to the ser\'ice of the son of that Rana who had 
slain his predecessor. The memorable attack upon Chitor by 
Bahadur of Gujarat has already been related,® and the death of 
the Kara prince and his vassals at the post of honour, the breach. 
Rao Arjun was this prince, who W'as blown up at the Chitori burj 
(bastion). The Bundi bard makes a striking picture of this 
catastrophe, in which the indomitable courage of their prince is 
finely imagined. The fact is also confirmed by the annals of 
Mewar : 


* The Author has seen the cenotaphs of the princes at Nanta, a place 
which still affords good hunting. 

® T'onx of these had appanages and founded clans, namely, Bhim, who 
liad Thakurda ; Pura, who had Hardoi ; Mapal and Paehain, whose abodes 
re not recorded. ® See Tol. I. p. 361. 



1480 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


“ Seated on a fragment of the rock, disparted by the explosion 
of the mine, Arjun drew his sword, and tlic world beheld his 
departure with amazement.” * 

Surjan, the eldest of the four sons " of Arjnn. succeeded in 
S. 1589 (a.d. 1583) [471]. 


CHAPTER 3 

Rao Surjan, a.d. 1554. — With Rao Surjan commenced a new 
era for Bundi.^ Hitherto her princes had enjoyed independence, 
excepting the homage and occasional service on emergencies 
which are maintained as much from kinship as vassalage. But 
they were now about to move in a more extended orbit, and to 
occupy a conspicuous page in the futme history of the empire of 
India. 

Sawant Singh, a jimior branch of Btmdi, upon the expulsion 
of the Shershahi dynasty, entered into a correspondence with 
the Afghan governor of Ranthambhor, which terminated in the 
surrender of this celebrated fortress, which he delivered up to 
his superior, the Rao Surjan. For this important service, wliich 
obtained a castle and possession far superior to any under Bundi, 
lands were assigned near the city to Sawantji, whose nanffe 
became renowned, and was transmitted as the head of the clan, 
Sawant-Hara. 

The Chauhan chief of Bedla,* who was mainly instrumental to 
the surrender of this famed fortress, stipulated that it should be 
held by Rao Surjan, as a fief of Mewar. Thus Ranthambhor, 
which for ages was an appanage of Ajmer, and continued until the 

^ Sor ne kiya bahiit jor 
Dhar parbat ori silla ; 

Tain kari tartvar 
Ad pdtiya, Hara VjaA 

2 Ram Singh, clan Rama Kara ; Akhairaj, clan Akhairajpota ; Kandhal, 
clan Jasa Hara. 

® [The dates are uncertain-; that in the margin is from lOI, ix. SO. 
Prinsep {Useful Tables, 105) gives 1575. Blochmann {Ain, i. 410) says, 
“ he had been dead for some time in 1001 Hijri,” a-D. 1592.] 

* [4 miles N. of Udaipur city.] 

^ Uja, the familiar contraction for Arjuna. 



SIEGE OF RANTIIAMBHOR BY AKBAR 


1481 


fourteenth century in a branch of the family descended from 
Bisaldeo, when it was [472] captured from the valiant Hamir ^ 
after a desperate resistance, once more reverted to the Chauhan 
race. 

Siege of Ranthambhor by Akbar. — Ranthambhor was an early 
object of Akbar's attention, who besieged it in person. He had 
been some time before its impregnable walls without the hope of 
its surrender, when Bhagwandas of Amber and liis son, the more 
celebrated Raja Man, who had not only tendered their allegiance 
to Akbar, but allied themselves to him by marriage, determined 
to use their influence to make Surjan Kara faithless to his pledge, 
“ to hold the castle as a fief of Chitor.” ^ That courtesy, which 
is never laid aside amongst belligerent Rajputs, obtained Raja 
Man access to the castle, and the emperor accompanied him in 
the guise of a mace-bearer. While conversing, an uncle of the 
Rao recognized the emperor, and with that sudden impulse which 
arises “from respect, took the mace from his hand and placed 
Akbar on the ‘ cushion ’ of the governor of the castle. Akbar’s 
presence of mind did not forsake him, and he said, “ Well, Rao 
Surjan, what is to be done ? ” which was replied to by Raja Man, 
“ Leave the Rana, give up Ranthambhor, and become the servant 
of the king, with high honours and office.” The proffered bribe 
was indeed magnificent ; the government of fifty-two districts, 
whose revenues were to be appropriated without inquiry, on 
furnishing the customary contingent, and liberty to name any 
other terms, which should be solemnly guaranteed by the king.® 

- ^ His fame is immortalized by a descendant of the bard Chand, in the 

‘ works already mentioned, as bearing his name, the Hamir-raesa and Hamir- 
kavya. 

® The Raja Man of Amber is styled, in the poetic chronicle of the Haras, 

‘ the shade of the Kali Yuga ’ : a powerful figure, to denote that his baneful 
influence and example, in allying himself by matrimonial ties with the 
1 imperialists, denationalized the Rajput character. In refusing to follow 
. this example, we have presented a picture of patriotism in the life of Rana 
Partap of Mewar. Rao Surjan avoided by convention what the Chitor 
prince did by arms. 

® We may here remark that the succeeding portion of the annals of 
Bundi is a free translation of an historical sketch drawn up for me by the 
•iRaja of Bundi from his own records, occasionally augmented from the 
bardic chronicle. [This was Akbar’s second attack on Ranthambhor, the 
first (a.d. 1558-60) having been unsuccessful. It was taken on I9th March 
A 1569 {Akbarndma, ii. 132 f., 494). Smith (Akbar, the Great Mogul, 98 ff.) 
/l quotes the narrative in the text, which he considers trustworthy.] 

I VOL. Ill d 



1482 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtJNDI 


A treaty was drawn up upon the spot, and mediated by the 
prinee of Amber, which presents a good picture of Hindu feeling : 

1. That tile chiefs of Bundi should be exempted from that 
custom, degrading to a Rajput, of sending a dola ^ to the royal 
harem. 

2. Exemption from the jizya, or poll-tax. 

3. That tile chiefs of Bundi should not be compelled to cross 
the Attock. 

4. That the vassals of Bundi should be exempted from the 
obligation of sending [473] their wives or female relatives ‘ to 
hold a stall in the Mina Bazar ’ at the palace, on the festival of 
Nauroza.® 

5. That they should have the privilege of entering the Diwan- 
i-amm, or ‘ hall of audience,’ completely armed. 

6. That their sacred edifices should be respected. 

7. That they should never be placed under the command of a 
Hindu leader. 

8. That their horses shoidd not be branded with the imperial 
dagh.® 

9. That they should be allowed to beat their nakkaras, or 
‘ kettledrums,’ in the streets of the capital as far as the Lai 
Darwaza or ‘ red-gate ’ ; and that they should not be commanded 
to make the ‘ prostration ’ ■* on entering the Presence. 

10. That Bundi should be to the Haras what Delhi was to the 
king, who should guarantee them from any change of capital. 

In addition to these articles, which the king swore to maintain, 
he assigned the Rao a residence at the sacred city of Kasi, pos- 
sessing that privilege so dear to the Rajput, the right of sanctuary, 

® Doh. is the terra for a princess afBanced to the king. 

® An ancient institution of the Timurian kings, derived from their Tartar 
ancestry. For a description of this festival see Vol. I. p. 400, and Ain, i. 
276 f. [See the lively account of these fairs by Bernier (p. 272 f.). Thev 
were held in the Mina, or ‘heavenly,’ bazar, near the Mina Masjid, or 
mosque, in the Agra Fort (Syad Muhammad Latif, Agra. 75 f.).] 

® This brand (dagh) was a flower on the forehead [Vol. II, p. 972]. 

* Sijdah. similar to the kotow of China. Had our ambassador possessed 
the wit of Rao Surthan of Sirohi, who, when compelled to pay homage to 
the king, determined at whatever hazard not to submit to this degradation 
he might have succeeded in his mission to the ‘ son of heaven.’ For the 
relation of this anecdote see Vol. II. p. 990. [For the Mughal forms of 
salutation see Ain, i. 158 f.j 



RAO SURJAN IN THE IMPERIAL SERVICE 14S3 


which is maintained to this day.* With such a bribe, and the full 
acceptance of his terms, we cannot wonder that Rao Surjan flung 
from him the remnant of allegiance he owed to Mewar, now 
humbled by the loss of her capital, or that he should agree to 
follow the victorious ear of the Mogul. But this dereliction of 
duty was eilaced by the rigid virtue of the brave Sawant Hara, 
w'ho, as already stated, had conjointly with the Kotharia Chauhan * 
obtained Ranthambhor. He put on the saffron robes, and with 
his small but virtuous elan determined, in spite of his sovereign’s 
example, that Akbar should only gain possession ov^er their 
lifeless bodies. 

Previous to this explosion of useless fidelity, he set up a pillar 
with a solemn anathema engraved thereon, on “ whatever Hara 
of gentle blood should ascend the castle of Ranthambhor, or who 
should quit it alive.” Sawant and his kin made the sacrifice to 
hono\ir ; “ they gave up their life’s blood to maintain their 
fidelity to the Rana,” albeit himself uithotit a capital ; and from 
that day, no Hara ever [474] passes Ranthambhor without 
averting his head from an object which caused disgrace to the 
tribe. With this transaction all intercourse ceased with Mewar, 
and from this period the Hara bore the title of ‘ Rao Raja ’ 
of Bundi. 

Rao Surjan in the Imperial Service. — Rao Surjan was soon 
called into action, and sent as commander to reduce Gondwana, 
so named from being the ‘ region of the Gonds.’ “ He took 
their capital, Bari, by assault, and to commemorate the achieve- 
ment erected the gateway still called the Surjanpol. The Gond 
leaders he carried captives to the emperor, and generously inter- 
ceded for their restoration to liberty, and to a portion of their 

* [The Maharao Kao of Bundi still has a house, somewhat dilapidated, 
near the Raj Mandir and Sitala Ghat at Benares. The right of sanctuary 
has ceased (E. Graves, Kashi, 1909, p. 53).] 

^ This conjoint act of obtaining the castle of Ranthambhor is confirmed 
in the annals of the chieftains of Kotharia, of the same original stock as 
the Haras : though a Purbia Chauhan. I knew him very well, as also one 
of the same stock, of Bedla, another of the sixteen Pattayats of Mewar. 

* [Gondwana is the term applied to the Satpura plateau in the Central 
Provinces iJGI, xii. 321 fi.). The campaign was begun by Asaf Khan in 
A.D. 1564. The Bari in the text, a word meaning ‘dwelling.’ possibly 
refers to Chauragarh, now in the Karsinghpur District (Smith. Akhar, the 
Great Mogul, 69 ff.). Rao Surjan was governor of Garha -Katanka or 
Gondwana, whence he was transferred to Cbunar (Ain, i. 409).] 



1484 


ANNAI.S OF HAR AVATI : BCNDI 


possessions. On effecting this service, the king added seven 
districts to his grant, including Benares and Chunar. This was 
in S. 1632, or .\.n. 1576, the year in which Rana Partap of Mewar 
fought the battle of Haldighat against Sultan Salim.* 

Rao Surjan resided at his government of Benares, and by his 
piety, wisdom, and generosity, benefited the empire and the 
Hindus at large, whose religion through him was respected. 
Owing to the prudence of his administration and the vigilance of 
his police, the most perfect security to person and property was 
established throughout the province. lie beautified and orna- 
mented the city, especially that quarter where he resided, and 
eighty-four edifices, for various public purposes, and twenty 
baths, were constructed under his auspices. He died there, and 
left three legitimate sons ; 1. Rao Bhoj ; 2. Duda, nicknamed 
by Akbar, Lakar Khan ; 3. Raemall, who obtained the torvn and 
dependencies of Puleta. now one of the fiefs of Kotah and the 
residence of the Raemallot Haras. 

The Campaign in Gujarat. — About this period. Akbar trans- 
ferred the seat of government from Delhi to Agra, which he 
enlarged and called Akbarabad. Having determined on the 
reduction of Gujarat, he dispatched thither an immense army, 
which he followed with a select force mounted on camels. Of 
these, adopting the custom of the desert princes of India, he had 
formed a corps of five hundred, each ha-eing two fighting men in 
a pair of panniers. To this select force, composed chiefly of 
Rajputs, were attached Rao Bhoj and Duda his brother. Pro- 
ceeding with the utmost celerity, Akbar joined his army besieging 
Surat, before which many desperate encounters took place.* In 
the final assault the Kara Rao slew the leader of the enemy ; on 
which occasion the king commanded him to “ name his reward.” 
The Rao limited Ids request to leave to visit his estates annually 
dxiring the periodical rains, which was granted. 

The perpetual wars of Akbar, for the conquest and consolida- 
tion of the universal [475] empire of India, gave abundant oppor- 
tunity to the Rajput leaders to exert their valour ; and the 
Haras were ever at the post of danger and of honour. The siege 

* See Vol. I. p. 393. 

* [Akbar began to reside at Agra in a,d. 1558, and built the fort in 1566-6. 
The first campaign in Gujarat took place in 1572. Surat was captured in 
February 1573.] 



THE CAMPAIGN IN GUJARAT 


1485 


and escalade of the famed castle of Ahmadnagar afforded the best 
occasion for the display of Kara intrepidity ; again it shone 
forth, and again claimed distinction and reward.^ To mark his 
sense of the merits of the Bundi leader, the king commanded that 
a new bastion should be erected, where he led the assault, which 
he named the Bhoj burj ; and further presented him his own 
favourite elephant. In tliis desperate assault, Chand Begam, 
the queen of Ahmadnagar, and an armed train of seven hundred 
females, were slain, gallantly fighting for their freedom. 

Notwithstanding all these services. Rao Bhoj fell under the 
emperor’s displeasure. On the death of the queen, Jodha Bai, 
Akbar commanded a court-mourning ; and that all might testify 
a participation in their master’s affliction, an ordinance issued 
that all the Rajput chiefs, as well as the Muslim leaders, should 
shave the moustache and the, beard.- To secure compliance, the 
royal barbers had the execution of the mandate. But when they 
came to the quarters of the Haras, in order to remove these tokens 
of manhood, they were repulsed with buffets and contumely.. The 
enemies of Rao Bhoj aggravated the crime of this resistance, and 
insinuated to the royal ear that the outrage upon the barbers 
was accompanied with expressions insulting to the memory of 
the departed princess, who, it will be remembered, was a Rajputni 
of Marwar. Akbar, forgetting his vassal's gallant services, 
commanded that Rao Bhoj should be pinioned and forcibly 
deprived of his ‘ mouche.’ He might as well have commanded 
the operation on a tiger. The Haras flew to their arms ; the 
camp was thrown into tumult, and would soon have presented 
a wide scene of bloodshed, had not the emperor, seasonably 
repenting of his folly, repaired to the Bundi quarters in person. 
He expressed his admiration (he might have said his fear) of Hara 
valour, alighted from his elephant to expostulate with the Rao, 
who with considerable tact pleaded his father’s privileges, and 
added “ that an eater of pork like him was unworthy the distinc- 
tion of putting his hp into mourning for the queen.” Akbar, 

* [Ahmadnagar was stormed in August 1600. According to Ferishta 
(iii. 312) Chand Bibi was killed by her Deccan troops because she was 
treating for surrender. By another story, she was poisoned (Smith, Akbar, 
the Great Mogul, 272).] 

* [There is an error here. Akbar died in 1605 ; Jodh Bai died, it is 
said by poison, in 1619 or 1622.] 



1486 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BDNDI 


happy to obtain even so much acknowledgment, embraced the 
Rao, and carried him with him to his own quarters. 

Death of Akbar. — In this portion of the Bundi memoirs is 
related the mode of Akbar's death.^ He had designed to take 
off the great Raja Man by means of a poisoned confection formed 
into pills. To throw the Raja off his guard, he had prepared 
other pills which were [476] innocuous ; but in his agitation he 
unwittingly gave these to the Raja, and swallowed those wliich 
were poisoned. On the emperor's death, Rao Bhoj retired to 
his hereditary dominions, and died in his palace of Bundi, leaving 
three sons, Rao Ratan, Harda Narayan,- and Kesliodas.^ 

Rao Batan. — Jahangir was now sovereign of India. He had 
nominated his son Parvez to the government of the Deccan, and 
having invested him in the city of Burhanpur, returned to the 
north. But Prince Khurram, jealous of his brother, conspired 
against and slew liim.^ This murder was followed by an attempt 
to dethrone liis father Jahangir, and as he was popular with the 
Rajput princes, being son of a prineess of Amber, a formidable 
rebellion was raised ; or, as the chronicle says, “ the twenty-two 
Rajas turned against the king, all but Rao Ratan ” : 

“ Sarwar phiita, jal bahd ; 

Ab kya karo jalanna ? 

Jdid ghar Jahangir kd, 

Rdkhd Rao Ratanna. 

“ The lake had burst, the waters were rushing out ; where now 
the remedy ? The ‘ house of Jahangir was departing ; it was 
sustained by Rao Ratan.” 

Partition of Haraoti. — With his two sons, Madho Singh and 
Hari, Ratan repaired to Burhanpur, where he gained a complete 

^ See Vol. I. p. 408. [The tale seems almost incredible, but Akbar did 
remove some of his enemies by poison, and the story was the subject of 
Court gossip (Jlanucci i. 150). Akbar seems to have died from cancer of 
the bowels (EUiot-Dowson v. 541, vi. 115, 108 f.). Smith (Akbar, the, Great 
Mogul, 326 f.) chsbeUeves the story, but suspects that he may have been 
poisoned by some one. See Irvine's note on ilanucci iv. 420.] 

- He held Kotah in separate grant from the king during fifteen j'ears. 

® He obtained the town of Dipri (on the Chambal), with twenty-seven 
villages, in appanage. 

* [Parvez died from apoplexy at Burhanpur, 28th] October 1626 (Beale, 
Diet. Oriental Biography, s.v. Parwiz Sultan ; Dow 2nd ed. iii. 88).] 



PARTITION OF HARAOTI: GOPINATH 


1487 


victory over the rebels. In this engagement, which took place 
on Tuesday the full moon of Kartika, S. 1635 (a.d. 1579), both 
his sons were severely wounded. For these services Rao Ratan 
was rewarded with the government of Burhanpur ; and Madho 
his second son received a grant of the city of Kot^h and its 
dependencies, which he and his heirs were to hold direct of 
the crown. From this period, therefore, dates the partition of 
Haraoti, when the emperor, in his desire to reward Madho Singh, 
overlooked the greater services of his father. But in this Jahangir 
did not act without design ; on the contrary, he dreaded the imion 
of so much power in the hands of this brave race as pregnant 
with danger, and well knew that by dividing he could always rule 
both, the one through the other. Shah Jahan confirmed the grant 
to Madho Singh, whose history will be resumed in its proper place, 
the Annals of Kotah. 

Rao Ratan, while he held the government of Burhanpur, 
foimded a township which still bears his name, Ratanpur. He 
performed another important service [477], which, while it 
gratified the emperor, contributed greatly to the tranquillity of 
his ancient lord-paramount, the Rana of Mewar. A refractory 
noble of the court, Dariyau Khan, was leading a life of riot and 
rapine in that country, when the Kara attacked, defeated, and 
carrie.d him captive to the king. For this distinguished exploit, 
the king gave him honorary naubats, or kettledrums ; the grand 
yellow banner to be borne in state processions before his own 
person, and a red flag for his camp ; which ensigns are still 
retained by his successors. Rao Ratan obtained the suffrages 
not only of his Rajput brethren, but of the whole Hindu race, 
whose religion he preserved from iimovation. The Haras exult- 
ingly boast that no Muslim dared pollute the quarters where they 
might be stationed with the blood of the sacred kine. After all 
his services, Ratan was killed in an action near Burhanpur, leav- 
ing a name endeared by his valour and his virtues to the whole 
Hara race. 

Gopinath. — ^Rao Ratan left four sons, Gopinath, who had 
Bundi ; Madho Singh, who had Kotah ; Hariji, who had Gugor ; '■ 
Jagannath, who had no issue ; and Gopinath, the heir of Bimdi, 
who died before his father. The manner of his death affords 

1 There are about fifty families, his descendants, formmg a community 
round Nimoda. 



1488 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtJNDI 


another trait of Rajput character, and merits a place amongst 
those anecdotes which form the romance of history. (Jopinath 
carried on a secret intrigue with the wife of a Brahman of the 
Baldia class, and in the dead of night used to escalade the house 
to obtain* admittance. At length the Brahman caught him, 
boimd the hands and feet of his treacherous prince, and proceed- 
ing direct to the palace, told the Rao he had caught a thief in the 
act of stealing his honour, and asked what punishment was due 
to such offence. “ Death,” was the reply. He waited for no 
other, returned home, and with a hammer beat out the victim’s 
brains, throwng the dead body into the piiblic highway. The 
tidings flew to Rao Ratan, that the heir of Bundi had been 
murdered, and his corpse ignominiously exposed ; but when he 
learned the cause, and was reminded of the decree he had unwit- 
tingly passed, he submitted in silence.' 

The Fiefs of Bundi. — Gopinath left twelve sons, to whom Rao 
Ratan assigned domains still forming the principal kothris, or 
fiefs, of Bundi : 

1. Rao Chliattarsal, who succeeded to Bundi. 

2. Indar Singh, who founded Indargarh [478]. ^ 

3. Berisal, who founded Balwan and Phalodi, and had Karwar 
and Pipalda. 

' This trait in the character of Rao Ratan forcibly reminds us of a similar 
case which occurred at Ghazni, and is related by Ferishta [i. 86 f.] in com- 
memoration of the justice of Mahmud. 

“ These, the three great fiefs of Bundi, — Indargarh, Balwan, and 
Antardah, — are now all ahenated from Bundi by the intrigues of Zalim 
Singh of Kotah. It was unfortunate for the Bundi Rao, when both these 
States were admitted to an aUiance, that all these historical points were 
hid in darkness. It would be yet abstract and absolute justice that we 
should negotiate the transfer of the allegiance of these chieftains to their 
proper head of Bundi. It would be a m.atter of httle difhculty, and the 
honour would be immense to Bundi and no hardship to Kotah, but a slight 
sacrifice of a power of protection to those who no longer require it. All of 
these chiefs were the founders of clans, called after them, ludarsalot, Beri- 
salot, Mohkamsinghot ; the first can mu.ster fifteen hundred Haras under 
arms. Jaipur having imposed a tribute on these chieftains, Zahm Singh 
undertook, in the days of predatory warfare, to be responsible for it ; for 
which he received that homage and service due to Bundi, then unable to 
protect them. The simplest mode of doing justice would be to make these 
chiefs redeem their freedom from tribute to Jaipur, by the pavment of so 
many years’ purchase, wUch would relieve them altogether 'from Zalim 
Singh, and at the same time be in accordance with our treaties, which 
prohibit such ties between the States. 



RAO CHHATTARSAL : DEATH OF SHAH JAHAN 1489 


4. Mohkam Singh, who had Antardah. 

5. Maha Singh, who had Thana.^ 

It is useless to specify the names of the remainder, who left 
no issue. 

Rao Chhattarsal, a.d. 1652-58. — Chhattarsal, who succeeded 
his grandfather, Rao Ratan, was not only installed by Shah Jahan 
in his hereditary dominions, but declared governor of the imperial 
capital, a post which he held nearly throughout this reign. Wlien 
Shah Jahan partitioned the empire into four vice-royalties, under 
his sons, Dara, Aurangzeb, Shuja, and Murad, Rao Clihattarsal 
had a high command under Aurangzeb, in the Deccan. The Kara 
distinguished himself by his bravery and conduct in all the various 
sieges and actions, especially at the assaults of Daulatabad and 
Bidar ; the last was led by Chhattarsal in person, who carried 
the place, and put the garrison to the sword. In S. 1709 (a.d. 
1653), Kulbarga fell after an obstinate defence, in which Chhattar- 
sal again led the escalade. The last resort was the strong fort 
of Damauni, which terminated all resistance, and the Deccan 
was tranquillized. 2 

Death of Shah Jahan. War of Succession. — “ At this period 
of the transactions in the south, a rumour was propagated of the 
emperor’s (Shah Jahan) death ; and as during twenty days the 
prince (Aurangzeb) held no court, and did not even give private 
audience, the report obtained general beUef.* Dara Shikoh was 
the only one of the emperor’s sons then at court, and the absent 
brothers determined to assert their several pretensions to the 
throne. While Shuja marched from Bengal, Aurangzeb prepared 
to quit the Deccan, and cajoled Murad to join him with aU his 

^ Tliana [about 20 miles E. of Jhalawar], formerly called Jajawar, is the 
only fief of the twelve sons of Ratan which now pays obedience to its proper 
head. The Maharaja Bikramajit is the lineal descendant of Maha Singh, 
) and if alive, the earth bears not a more honourable, brave, or simple-minded 
Rajput. He was the devoted servant of his young prince, and my very 
sincere and valued friend ; but we shall have occasion to mention the ‘ lion- 
killer ’ in the Personal Karrative. 

^ [For this campaign see Jadunath Sarkar, Hiaforyo/ Auranffzif>,i.264S.; 
Grant Ihjff 70. Bidar was stormed in March 1657. The gallantry of 
Chhattarsal is commended by Jadunath Sarkar i. 272, ii. 6.] 

, “ The reader will observe, as to the phraseology of these important 

occurrences, that the language is that of the original : it is, in fact, almost 
a verbatim translation from the memoirs of these princes in the Bundi 
archives. 


1490 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


forces ; assuring liim that he, a darvesh from principle, had no 
worldly desires, for his only wish was to dwell in retirement [479], 
practising the austerities of a rigid follower of the Prophet ; that 
Dara was an infidel, Shuja a free-thinker, himself an anchorite ; 
and that he, Murad, alone of the sons of Shah Jahan, was worthy 
to exercise dominion, to aid in which purpose he proffered Ins best 
energies 

“ The emperor, learning the hostile intentions of Aurangzeb, 
wrote privately to the Kara prince to repair to the Presence. On 
receiving the mandate, Chhattarsal revolved its import, but con- 
sidering “that, as a servant of the gaddi (throne), his only duty 
was obedience,” he instantly commenced his preparations to quit 
the Deccan. This reaching the ear of Aurangzeb, he inquired 
the cause of his hasty departure, observing, that in a very short 
time he might accompany him to court. The Bundi prince 
replied, “ his first duty was to the reigning sovereign,” and handed 
him the farman or summons to the Presence. Aurangzeb com- 
manded that he should not be permitted to depart, and directed 
his encampment to be surrounded. But Chhattarsal, foreseeing 
tliis, had already sent on Ms baggage, and forming his vassals 
and those of other Rajput princes attached to the royal cause into 
one compact mass, they effected their retreat to the Nerbudda 
in the face of their pursuers, without their daring to attack them. 
By the aid of some Solanki cMeftains inhabiting the banks of tMs 
river, the Bundi Rao was enabled to pass this dangerous stream, 
then swollen by the periodical rains. Already baffled by the skill 
and intrepidity of Chhattarsal, Aurangzeb was compelled to give 
up the pursuit, and the former reached Bundi in safety. Ha\dng 
made his domestic arrangements, he proceeded forthwith to the 
capital, to help the aged emperor, whose power, and even exist- 
ence, were ahke threatened by the ungrateful pretensions of his 
sons to snatch the sceptre from the hand wMch still held it.” 

If a reflection might be here interposed on the bloody wars 
which desolated India in consequence of the events of wMeh the 
foregoing were the initial scenes, it would be to expose the moral 
retribution resulting from evil example. Were we to take but a 
partial view of the picture, we should depict the venerable Shah ‘ 

The Rajput prince, who drew up th^ character, seems to have well 
studied Aurangzeb, and it is gratifying to find such concurrence with every 
authority. But could such a character be eventually mistaken ? 



WAR OF SUCCESSION : DEATH OF CHHATTARSAL 1491 


Jahan, arrived at the verge of the grave, into which the unnatural 
contest of his sons for empire wished to precipitate him, extending 
his arms for succour in vain to the nobles of his own faith and kin ; 
while the Rajput, faithful to his principle, ‘ allegiance to the 
throne,’ staked both life and land to help him in his need. Such a 
picture would enlist all our sympathies on the side of the helpless 
king. But when we recall the past, and consider that [480] Shah 
Jahan, as Prince Khurram, played the same part (setting aside 
the mask of hypocrisy), which Aurangzeb now attempted ; that, 
to forward his guilty design, he murdered his brother Parvez,^ 
who stood between him and the throne of his parent, against 
whom he levied war, our sympatliies are checked, and we conclude 
that unlimited monarchy is a curse to itself and aU who are 
subjected to it. 

The battle of Fatehabad followed not long after this event,* 
wliich, gained by Aurangzeb, left the road to the throne free from 
obstruction. We are not informed of the reason why the prince 
of Bundi did not add his contingent to the force assembled to 
oppose Aurangzeb under Jaswant Singh of Marwar, unless it be 
found in that article of the treaty of Rao Surjan, prohibiting his 
successors from serving under a leader of their own faith and 
nation. The younger branch of Kotah appears, on its separation 
from Bundi, to have felt itself exonerated from obedience to this 
decree ; for four royal brothers of Kotah, with many of their 
clansmen, were stretched on this field in the cause of swamidharma 
and Shah Jahan. Before, however, Aurangzeb could tear the 
sceptre from the enfeebled hands of his parent, he had to combat 
Iris elder brother Dara, who drew together at Dholpur aU those 
who yet regarded ‘ the first duty of a Rajput.’ The Bundi 
prince, with his Haras clad in their saffron robes, the ensigns of 
death or victory, formed the vanguard of Dara on this day, the 
opening scene of his sorrows, wliich closed but with his life ; 
for Dholpur was as fatal to Dara the Mogul, as Arbela was to 
the Persian Darius. Custom rendered it indispensable that the 
princely leaders should be conspicuous to the host, and in con- 
formity thereto Dara, mounted on his elephant, was in the brrmt 
of the battle, in the heat of which, when valour and fidelity might 
have preserved the sceptre of Shah Jahan, Dara suddenly dis- 
* [See p. I486.] 

* [Or Samugarh, 29th May 1658.] 



1492 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; BCNDI 


appeared. A panic ensued, which was followed by confusion and 
flight. The noble Kara, on this disastrous event, turned to his 
vassals, and exclaimed, “ Accursed be he who flies ! Here, true 
to my salt, my feet are rooted to this field, nor will I quit it alive, 
but with victory.” Cheering on his men, he mounted his elephant, 
but whilst eneouraging them by his voice and example, a cannon- 
shot hitting his elephant, the animal turned and fled, Chliattarsal 
leaped from his back and called for his steed, exclaiming, “ My 
elephant may turn his back on the enemy, but never shall his 
master.” Mounting his horse, and forming his men into a dense 
mass (go/), he led them to the charge against Prince Murad, whom 
he singled out, and had his lance balanced for the issue, when a 
ball- pierced his forehead.' The contest was nobly maintained 
by liis youngest son, Bharat Singh, who accompanied his father 
in death [481], and with him the choicest of his clan. Mohkam 
Singh, brother of the Rao, with two of his sons, and Udai Singh, 
another nephew, sealed their fidelity with their lives. Thus in 
the two battles of Ujjain and Dholpur no less than tw’elve princes 
of the blood, together -with the heads of every Hara clan, main- 
tained their fealty (swamidkarma) even to death. Where are 
we to look for such examples ? 

“ Rao Chhattarsal had been personally engaged in fifty-two 
combats, and left a name renowned for courage and incorruptible 
fidelity.” He enlarged the palace of Bundi by adding that portion 
which bears his name,— the Chliattar Mahall, — and the temple 
of Keshorai, at Patan, was constructed under his direction. “ 
It was in S. 1715 he was kilted ; he left four sons, Rao Bhao Singh, 
Bhim Singh, who got Gugorha, Bhagu'ant Singh, who obtained 
Mau, and Bharat Singh, w'ho was killed at Dholpur. 

Rao Bhao Singh, a.d. 1658-78. Mughal Attack on Bundi. — 
Aurangzeb, on the attainment of sovereign power, transferred all 
the resentment he harboured against Chhattarsal to Ids son and 
successor, Rao Bhao. He gave a commission to Raja Atmaram, 
Gaur, the prince of Sheopur, to reduce “ that turbulent and dis- 
affected race, the Hara,” and annex Bundi to the govermnent of 

' [The defeat of Dara Shikoh at Dholpur preceded the battle of Samflgarh- 
Fatehabad : it was at Samug.arh that Chhattarsal was killed (Jadunath 
Sarkar, if. 37 ff.),] 

2 [The temple of Keshorai, or Kesava Krishna, is on the N. bank of the 
Chambal, 12 miles below Kotah (Eajputana Gazetteer, 1879, i. 238).] 



RAO ANIRUDDH SINGH 


1493 


Ranthambhor, declaring that he should visit Bundi shortly in 
person, on his way to the Deccan, and hoped to congratulate him 
on his success. Raja Atmaram, with an army of twelve thousand 
men, entered Haravati and ravaged it with fire and sword. Having 
laid siege to Khatoli, a town of Indargarh, the chief fief of Bulndi,' 
the clans secretly assembled, engaged Atmaram at Gotarda, de- 
feated and put him to flight, capturing the imperial ensigns and 
all his baggage. Not satisfied with this, they retaliated by 
blockading Sheopur, when the discomfited Raja continued his 
flight to court to relate this fresh instance of Hara audacity. The 
poor prince of the Gaurs was received with gibes and jests, and 
heartily repented of his inhuman inroads upon his neighbours in 
the day of their disgrace. The tyrant, affecting to be pleased with 
this instance of Hara courage, sent a farman to Rao Bhao of grace 
and free pardon, and commanding his presence at court. At 
first the Rao declined ; but having repeated pledges of good 
intention, he complied and was honoured with the government 
of Aurangabad under Prince Muazzam. Here he evinced his 
independence by shielding Raja Karan of Bikaner from a plot 
against his life. He performed many gallant deeds ■with his 
Rajput brethren in arms, the brave Bundelas of Orchha and 
Datia. He erected many public edifices at Aurangabad, where he 
acquired so much fame by his valour, his charities, and the 
sanctity “ of his manners, that miraculous cures were (said to be) 
effected by him. He [482] died at Aurangabad in S. 1738 (a.d. 
1682),® and, being without issue, was succeeded by Aniruddh 
Singh, the grandson of his brother Bhim.^ 

Rao Aniruddh Singh, a.d. 1678. — Aniruddh’s accession was 
confirmed by the emperor, who, in order to testify the esteem in 
which he held his predecessor, sent his own elephant, Gajgaur, 
with the khilat of investiture. Aniruddh accompanied Aurangzeb 
in his wars in the Deccan, and on one occasion performed the 

* [Indargarh about 30 miles N. of Bundi city : KhatoU 20 miles E. of 
Indargarh.] 

® It is a fact worthy of notice, that the most intrepid of the Rajput 
princely cavaliers are of a very devout frame of mind. 

® [Rao Bhao Singh died between March 1677 and February 1678 
(Manucci ii. 402).] 

* Bhim Singh, who had the flef of Gugor bestowed on him, had a son, 
ICishan Singh, who succeeded him, and was put to death by Aurangzeb. 
Aniruddh was the son of Kishan. 



1494 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtlNDI 


important service of rescuing the ladies of the harem out of the 
enemy’s hands. Tlie emperor, in testimony of his gallantry, told 
him to name his reward ; on which he requested he might be 
allowed to command the vanguard instead of the rearguard of 
the army. Subsequently, he was distinguished in the siege and 
storm of Bijapur. 

An unfortunate quarrel with Durjan Singh, the chief vassal of 
Bundi, involved the Rao in trouble. Making use of some im- 
proper expression, the Rao resentfully replied. “ I know what to 
expect from you ” ; which determined Durjan to throw his 
allegiance to the dogs. He quitted the army, and arri\’ing at his 
estates, armed his kinsmen, and, by a coup de main, possessed 
himself of Bundi. On learning this, the emperor detached 
Aniruddh with a force which expelled the refractory Durjan, 
whose estates were sequestrated. Previous to his expulsion, 
Durjan drew the iika of succession on the forehead of his brother 
of Balwan. Having settled the affairs of Bundi. the Rao was 
employed, in conjunction with Raja Bishan Singh of Amber, to 
settle the northern countries of the empire, governed by Shah 
Alam, as lieutenant of the king, and whose headquarters were at 
Lahore, in the execution of which ser\-ice he died. 

Rao Budh Singh. The Death of Aurangzeb. — Aniruddh left 
two sons. Budh Singh and Jodh Singh. Budh Singh succeeded 
to the honours and employments of his father. Soon after, 
Aurangzeb, who had fixed his residence at .\urangabad, fell ill, 
and finding his end approach, the nobles and officers of state, in 
apprehension of the event, requested him to name a successor. 
The dying emperor replied, that the succession was in the hands 
of God. with whose will and under whose decree he was desirous 
that his son Bahadur Shah Alam should succeed ; but that he 
was apprehensive that Prince Azam would endeavour by force 
of arms to seat himself on the throne.^ As the king said, so it 
happened ; -Azam Shah, being supported in his pretensions by 
the army of the Deccan, prepared to dispute [48.3] the empire with 
his elder brother, to whom he sent a formal defiance to decide 
their claims to empire on the plains of Dholpur. Bahadur Shah 
convened all the chieftains who favoured his cause, and explained 
his position. Amongst them was Rao Budh, now entering on 

’ It is useless to repeat that this is a literal translation from the records 
and journals of the Hara princes, who served the emperors. 



BATTLE OF JAJAU 


1495 


manhood, and he was at that moment in deep affliction for the 
untimely loss of his brother, Jodh Singh.^ When the king desired 
him to repair to Bundi to perform the offices of mourning, and 
console his relations and kindred, Budh Singh replied, “ It is not 
to Bimdi my duty calls me, but to attend my sovereign in the 
field — to that of Dholpur, renowned for many battles and conse- 
crated by the memory of the heroes who have fallen in the per- 
formance of their duty ” : adding “ that there his heroic ancestor 
Chhattarsal fell, whose fame he desired to emulate, and by the 
blessing of heaven, his arms should be cro^vned with victory to 
the empire.” 

Battle of Jajau, June 10, 1707. — Shah Alam advanced from 
Lahore, and Azam, with his son Bedar Bakht, from the Deccan ; 
and both armies met on the plains of Jajau, near Dholpur. A 
more desperate conflict was never recorded in the many bloody 
pages of the history of India. Had it been a common contest 
for supremacy, to be decided by the Muslim supporters of the 
rivals, it would have ended like similar ones, — a furious onset, 
terminated by a treacherous desertion. But here were assembled 
the brave bands of Rajputana, house opposed to house, and clan 
against clan. The princes of Datia and Kotah, who had long 
served with Prince Azam, and were attached to him by favours, 
forgot the injunctions of Aurangzeb, and supported that prince’s 
pretensions against the lawful heir. A powerful friendship united 
the chiefs of Bundi and Datia, whose lives exhibited one scene 
of glorious trimnph in all the wars of the Deccan. In opposing 
the cause of Shah Alam, Ram Singh of Kotah was actuated by 
his ambition to become the head of the Haras, and in anticipation 
of success had actually been invested with the honours of Bundi. 
With such stimulants on each side did the rival Haras meet face 
to face on the plains of Jajau, to decide at .the same time the pre- 
tensions to empire, and what affected them more, those of their 
respective heads to superiority. Previous to the battle. Ram 
Singh sent a perfidious message to Rao Budh, inviting him to 
desert the cause he espoused, and come over to Azam ; to which 
he indignantly replied : “ That the field which his ancestor had 
illustrated by his death, was not that whereon he would disgrace 
his memory by the desertion of his prince.” 

Budh Singh was assigned a distinguished post, and by his 
* This catastrophe will be related in the Personal Narrative. 



1496 


ANNAI-S OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


conduct and courage [484] mainly contributed to the victory 
which placed Bahadur Shah without a rival on the throne. The 
Rajputs on either side sustained the chief shock of the battle, and 
the Hara prince of Kotah, and the noble Bundela, Dalpat of 
Datia, were both killed by cannon-shot, sacrificed to the cause 
they espoused ; while the pretensions of Azam and his son Bedar 
Bakht were extinguished with their lives. 

For the signal services rendered on this important day. Budh 
Singh was honoured with ttie title of Rao Raja, and was admitted 
to the intimate friendship of the emperor, which he continued to 
enjoy until his death, when fresh contentions arose, in which the 
grandsons of Aurangzeb all perished. Farruklisiyar succeeded 
to the empire, under whom the Sayxdds of Barha held supreme 
power, and ruined the empire by their exactions and tyranny. 
When they determined to depose the king, the Kara prince, 
faithful to his pledge, determined to release him, and in the 
attempt a bloody conflict ensued in the (chaiik) square, in which 
his uncle Jeth Singh, and many of his clansmen, were slain. 

Rivalry between Kotah and Bundi. — The rivalry which com- 
menced between the houses of Kotah and Bundi, on the plains 
of Jajau, in which Ram Singh was slain, was maintained by his 
son and successor. Raja Bhim, who supported the party of the 
Sayjdds. In the prosecution of his ^news and revenge, Raja Bhim 
so far lost sight of the national character of the Rajput, as to 
compass his end by treachery, and beset his foe unawares while 
exercising his horse in the Maidan, outside the walls of the capital. 
His few retainers formed a circle round their chief, and gallantly 
defended him, though with great loss, until they reached a place 
of safety. Unable to aid the king, and beset by treachery^ Rao 
Budh was compelled to seek his own safety in flight.^ Farrukhsiyar 
was shortly after murdered, and the empire fell into complete 
disorder ; when the nobles and Rajas, feehng their insecimity 
under the bloody and rapacious domination of the Sayyids, 
repaired to their several possessions.* 

* Vide Vol. I. p. 473. et passim, in which the Bundi Annals are corrobor- 
ated by the Annals of Mewar, and by an autograph letter of Raja Jai Singh 
of Amber, dated the 19th Phalgun, S. 1775 (a.i>. 1719). 

* These subjects being already discussed in Tol. I. would have had no 
place here, were it not necessary to show how accurately the Bundi princes 
recorded events, and to rescue them from the charge of having no historical 
documents. 



QUARREL BETWEEN JAIPUR AND BtJNDI 1497 


Jai Singh of Jaipur attacks Bun^i. — At this period, Raja Jai 
Singh of Amber thought of dispossessing Budh Singh of Bundi. 
Rao Budh Singh was at this time his guest, having accompanied 
him from court to Amber. The cause of the quarrel is thus 
related : The Kara prince was married to a sister of .Jai Singh ; 
she had been betrothed to the emperor Bahadur [485] Shah, who, 
as one of the marks of ids favour for the victory of Dholpur, 
resigned his pretensions to the fair in favour of Rao Budh. LTn- 
fortunately, slie bore him no issue, and viewed with jealousy his 
two infant sons by another Rani, the daughter of Kalamegh of 
Begun, one of the sixteen chiefs of Mewar. During her lord’s 
absence, she feigned pregnancy, and having procured an infant, 
presented it as his lawfid child. Rao Budh was made acquainted 
with the equivocal conduct of his queen, to the danger of his 
proper offspring, and took an opportunity to reveal her conduct 
to her brother. The lady, who was present, was instantly interro- 
gated by her brother ; but, exasperated either at the suspicion of 
her honour or the discovery of her fraud, she snatched her brother’s 
dagger from his girdle, and rating him as “ the son of a tailor,” * 
would have slain him on the spot, had he not fled from her fury. 

To revenge the insult thus put upon him, the Raja of Amber 
determined to expel Rao Budh from Bundi, and offered the gaddi 
to the chief of its feudatories, the lord of Indargarh ; but Deo 
Singh had the virtue to refuse the offer. He then had recourse 
to the chieftain of Karwar,^ who could not resist the temptation. 
This chief, Salim Singh, was guilty of a double breach of trust ; 
for he held the confidential office of governor of Taragarh, the 
citadel commanding both the city and palace. 

The family dispute was, however, merely the underplot of a 
deeply-cherished political scheme of the prince of Amber, for the 
maintenance of his supremacy over the minor Rajas, to which 
his office of viceroy of Malwa, Ajmer, and Agra gave full scope, 
and he skilfully availed himself of the results of the ciril wars of 

^ This lady was sister to Chamanji, elder brother to Jai Singh, and heir- 
apparent to the gaddi of Amber, who was put to death by Jai Singh. To this 
murder the Rather bard alludes in the couplet given in their Annals, see 
Vol. II. p. 1059. ‘Chamanji’ [‘flower-bed’] is the title of the heirs- 
apparent of Amber. I know not whether Chamanji, which is merely a term 
of endearment, mav not be Bijai Singh, whose captivity we have related. 
See p. 1349. ' ^ [About 35 miles 5!. of Bundi city.] 

von. Ill ® 



1498 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


the Moguls. In the issue of Farrukhsiyar’s dethronement he saw 
the fruition of lus schemes, and after a show of defending him, 
retired to his dominions to proseeute his views. 

Aml)cr was yet circumscribed in territory, and the consequence 
of its princes arose out of their position as satraps of the empire. 
He therefore determined to seize upon all the districts on his 
frontiers within his grasp, and moreover to compel the. services 
of the chieftains who served under his banner as lieutenants of 
the king. 

At this period there were many allodial chieftains within the 
bounds of Amber ; as the Pachwana Chauhans about Lalsont, 
Gura, Nimrana. who owed neither service nor tribute to Jaipur, 
but led their quotas as distinct dignitaries of the empire under the 
flag of Amber. Even their own stock, the confederated Shaikha- 
wats, deemed [486] themselves under no such obligation. The 
Bargujars of Rajor, the Jadons of Bayana, and many others, the 
vassalage of older days, were in the same predicament. These, 
being in the decline of the empire unable to protect themselves, 
the more readily agreed to hold their ancient allodial estates as 
fiefs of Amber, and to serve with the stipulated quota. But when 
Jai Singh’s views led him to hope he could in like manner bring 
the Haras to acknowledge his supremacy, he evinced both ignor- 
ance and presumption. He therefore determined to dethrone 
Budh Singh, and to make a Raja of liis own choice hold of him in 
chief. 

The Kara, who was then reposing on the rites of hospitality 
and family ties at Amber, gave Jai Singh a good opportunitv to 
develop his \-iews. which were first manifested to the Bundi piinee 
by an obscure offer that he would make Amber his abode, and 
accept five hundred rupees daily for his train. His imcle, the 
brother of Jeth, who devoted himself to save his master at Agra, 
penetrated the infamous intentions of Jai Singh. He wrote to 
Bundi, and commanded that the Begun Rani should depart with 
her children to her father's ; and ha^dng given time for this, 
he by stealth formed his clansmen outside the waUs of Amber’ 
and haHng warned his prince of his danger, they quitted the 
treacherous abode. Raja Budh, at the head of three hundred 
Haras, feared nothing. He made direct for his capital, but they 
were overtaken at Pancholas, on the mutual frontier, by the select 
army under the five principal chieftains of Amber. The little 



MAHArAO UMMED SINGH 


1499 


band was enclosed, when a desperate encounter ensued, Rajput 
to Rajput. Every one of the five leaders of Amber was slain, 
with a multitude of their vassals ; and the cenotaphs of the lords 
of Isarda, Sarwar, and Bhawar still afford e^^dence of Hara 
revenge. The uncle of Bundi was slain, and the valiant band was 
so thinned, that it was deemed unwise to go to Bundi, and by the 
intricacies of the Plateau they reached Begun in safety. This 
dear-bought success enabled .Jai Singh to execute his plan, and 
Dalil Singh, of Karwar, espoused the daughter of Amber, and was 
invested with the title of Rao Raja of Bundi. 

Taking advantage of the distress of the elder branch of his 
house. Raja Bliini of Kotah, now strictly allied with Ajit of Marwar 
and the Sayjdds, prosecuted the old feud for superiority, making 
the Chambal the boundary, and seizing upon all the fiscal lands 
of Bundi east of this stream (excepting the Kothris), which he 
attached to Kotah. 

Death of Rm Budh Singh. — Thus beset by enemies on all sides, 
Budh Singh, after many fruitless attempts to [487] recover his 
patrimony, in which much Hara blood was uselessly shed, died 
in exile at Begun, leaving two sons, Ummed Singh and Dip Singh. 

The sons of Rao Budh were soon driven even from the shelter 
of the maternal abode ; for, at the instigation of their enemy of 
Amber, the Rana sequestrated Begun. Pursued by this unmanly 
vengeance, the brave youths collected a small band, and took 
refuge in the wilds of Pachel, whence they addressed Durjansal, 
who had succeeded Raja Bhim at Kotah. This prince had a 
heart to commiserate their misfortunes, and the magnanimity not 
only to relieve them, but to aid them in the recovery of their 
patrimony. 


CHAPTER 4 

Maharao Ummed Singh, a.d. 1743-1804. — Ummeda was but 
thirteen years of age on the death of his house’s foe, the Raja of 
Amber, in S. 1800 (.v.d. 1744). As soon as the event was known 
to him, putting himself at the head of his clansmen, he attacked 
and carried Patan and Gainoli.* “ IVhen it was heard that the 

* [Patan, about 25 miles E. of Bundi city : ‘ Gainoli ’ in the text is 
probably Gondoli, about 10 miles E. of Patan.] 



1500 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


son of Budh Singh was awake, the ancient Haras flocked to his 
standard,” and Durjansal of Kotah, rejoicing to see the real Hara 
blood thus displaj’ed, nobly sent his aid. 

Jaipur attacks Kotah. — Isari Singh, who was now lord of 
Amber, pursuing his father’s policy, determined that Kotah should 
bend to his supremacy as well as the elder branch of Bundi. The 
defiance of his power avowed in the support of young Ummeda 
brought his \-iews into [488] action, and Kotah was invested. 
But the result does not belong to this part of our history. On 
the retreat from Kotah, Isari sent a body of Nanakpanthis ' to 
attack Ummeda in his retreat at Burh (old) Lohari, amongst the 
Minas, the aboriginal lords of these mountain-wilds, who had often 
served the cause of the Haras, notwithstanding they had deprived 
them of their birthright. The youthful valour and distress of 
young Ummeda so gained their hearts, that five thousand bowmen 
assembled and desired to be ted against his enemies. With these 
auxiliaries, he anticipated his foes at Bichori, and while the nimble 
mountaineers plundered the camp, Ummeda charged the Jaipur 
army sword in hand, and slaughtered them without mercy, taking 
their kettledrums and standards. On the news of this defeat, 
another army of eighteen thousand men. under Narayandas 
Khatri, was sent against Ummeda. But the affair of Bichori 
confirmed the dispositions of the Haras : from all quarters they 
flocked to the standard of the j oung prince, who determined to 
risk everything in a general engagement. The foe had reached 
Dablana.” On the eve of attack, young Ummeda went to pro- 
pitiate ‘ the lady of Situn,’ “ the tutelary divinity of his race ; 
and as he knelt before the altar of Asapuma (the fulflller of hope), 
his eyes falling upon the turrets of Bundi, then held by a traitor, 
he swore to conquer or die. 

Battle of Dablana.— Inspired with like sentiments, his brave 
clansmen formed around the orange flag, the gift of Jahangir to 
Rao Ratan : and as they cleared the pass leading to Dablana, 
the foe was discovered marshalled to receive them. In one of 
those compact masses, termed gol, with serried lances advanced, 

* [A Sikh sect founded by Nanak, the Sikh Guru (A.D. 14C9-1639) 
(Rose, Glossary, iii. 152 ff.).] 

■ [About 10 miles X. of Bundi city.] 

’ [Probably Satur, with a temple of Rakt Dantlka Devi, ‘ she with the 
blood-stained teeth’ (Rajputana Gazetteer, .1879, L 240).) 



BATTLE OF DABLANA 


1501 


Ummeda led his Haras to the charge. Its physical and moral 
impression was irresistible ; and a \dsta was cut through the 
dense host opposed to them. Again they formed ; and again, in 
spite of the showers of cannon-shot, the sword renewed its blows ; 
but every charge was fatal to the bravest of Ummeda's men. In 
the first onset fell his maternal uncle, Prithi Singh, Solanki, with 
the Maharaja Marjad Singh of Motra, a valiant Hara, who fell just 
as he launched his chakra (diseus) at the head of the Khatri 
commander of Amber. Prayag Singh, chief of Soran, a branch 
of the Thana fief, was also slain, with many of inferior note. The 
steed of Ummeda was struck by a cannon-ball, and the intestines 
protruded from the wound. The intrepidity of the youthful 
hero, nobly seconded by his kin and clan, was unavailing ; and 
the chieftains, fearing he would throw away a life the preserva- 
tion of which they all desired, entreated he would abandon the 
contest ; observing, “ that if he survived. Bundi must be theirs ; 
but if he was slain, there was an end of all their hopes [489].” 

With grief he submitted ; and as they gained the Sawali Pass, 
which leads to Indargarh, he dismoimted to breathe his faithful 
steed ; and as he loosened the girths, it expired. Ummeda sat 
down and wept. Hanja was worthy of such a mark of his esteem : 
he was a steed of Irak, the gift of the king to his father, whom he 
had borne in many an encounter. Nor was this natural ebullition 
of the yoxmg Hara a transient feeling ; Hanja's memory was held 
in veneration, and the first act of Ummeda, when he recovered his 
thrpne, was to erect a statue to the steed who bore liim so nobly 
on the day of Dablana. It stands in the square (chauk) of the 
city, and receives the reverence of each Hara, who links his history' 
with one of the brightest of their achievements, though obscured 
by momentary defeat.^ 

Ummeda gained Indargarh. which was close at hand, on foot ; 
but this traitor to the name of Hara, who had acknowledged the 
supremacy of Amber, not only refused his prince a horse in his 
adversity, but warned him off the domain, asking “ if he meant 
to be the ruin of Indargarh as well as Bundi ? ” Disdaining to 
drink water within its bounds, the young prince, stung by this 
' perfidious mark of inhospitality, took the direction of Karwain. 

r I have made my salaam to the representative of Hanja. and should 
have graced his neck with a chaplet on every military festival, had I dwelt 
among the Haras. 



1502 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


Its chief made amends for the other’s churlishness : he advanced 
to meet him, offered such aid as he had to give, and presented 
liim with a horse. Dismissing his faithful kinsmen to their homes, 
and begging their swords when fortune might be kinder, he re- 
gained his old retreat, the ruined palace of Rampura, amongst 
the ravines of the Chambal. 

Bundi recovered by Ummed Singh.— Durjansal of Kotah, who 
had so bravely defended his capital against the pretensions to 
supremacy of Isari Singh and his auxiliary, Apa Sindhia, felt 
more interest than ever in the cause of Ummeda. The Kotah 
prince's comrcils were governed and his armies led by a Bhat (bard), 
who, it may be inferred, was professionally inspired by the heroism 
of the young Kara to lend his sword as well as his muse towards 
reinstating him in the haUs of his fathers. Accordingly, aU the 
strength of Kotah, led by the Bhat, was added to the kinsmen and 
friends of Ummeda ; and an attempt on Bundi was resolved. 
The city, whose walls were in a state of dilapidation from this 
continual warfare, was taken without difficulty ; and the assault 
of the citadel of Taragarh had commenced, when the heroic Bhat 
received a fatal shot from a treacherous hand in his own party. 
His death was concealed, and a cloth thrown [490] over his body. 
The assailants pressed on ; the usurper, alarmed, took to flight ; 
the ‘ lion's hope ' ^ was fulfilled, and Ummeda was seated on the 
throne of his fathers. 

Bundi occupied by Jaipur. — ^Dalil fled to his suzerain at Amber, 
whose disposable forces, under the famous Khatri Keshodas, were 
immediately put in motion to re-expel the Hara. Bundi was 
invested, and having had no time given to prepare for defence, 
Ummeda was compelled to abandon the walls so nobly won, and 
“ the flag of Dhundhar waved over the knnguras (battlements) of 
Dewa-Baiiga.'’ And let the redeeming virtue of the usurper be 
recorded ; who, when his suzerain of Amber desired to reinstate 
him on W\»gaddi, refused “ to bring a second tinie the stain of 
treason on his head, by which he had been disgraced in the opinion 
of mankind.'’ 

Ummed Singh in Exile.— Ummeda, once more a wanderer, 
alternately courting the aid of Mewar and JIarwar, never sus- 
pended his hostility to the usurper of liis rights, but carried his 
incursions, without intermission, into his paternal domains. One 
* Ummeda, ‘hope’; Singh, ‘a Hon.’ 



QUEEN INVOKES AID FROM THE MARATHAS 1503 


of these led him to the village of Banodia : hither the Kachhwaha 
Rani, the widowed queen of his father, and the cause of all their 
miseries, had retired, disgusted with herself and the world, and 
lamenting, when too late, the ruin she had brought upon her 
husband, herself, and the family she had entered. Ummeda paid 
her a visit, and the interview added fresh pangs to her self- 
reproach. His sufferings, his heroism, brightened by adv'ersity, 
originating with her nefarious desire to stifle his claims of primo- 
geniture by a spurious adoption, awakened sentiments of remorse, 
of sympathy, and sorrow. Determined to make some amends, 
she adopted the resolution of going to the Deccan, to solicit aid 
for the son of Budh Singh. When she arrived on the banks of the 
Nerbudda a pillar was pointed out to her on which was inscribed 
a prohibition to any of her race to cross this stream, which like 
the Indus was also styled atak, or ‘ forbidden.’ ^ Like a true 
Rajputni, she broke the tablet in pieces, and threw it into the 
stream, observing with a Jesuitical casuistry, that there was no 
longer any impediment when no ordinance existed. Having 
passed the Rubicon, she proceeded forthwith to the camp of 
Malhar Rao Holkar. The sister of Jai Singh, the most potent 
Hindu prince of India, became a suppliant to this goatherd leader “ 
of a horde of plunderers, nay, adopted him as her brother to effect 
the redemption of Bundi for the exiled Ummeda. 

Malh^ Rw Holkar assists XJnuned Singh. — -Malhar, without 
the accident of noble birth, possessed the sentiments which belong 
to it, and he promised all she asked. How far his comphance 
might be promoted by [491] another call for his lance from the 
Rana of Mewar, in virtue of the marriage-settlement which pro- 
mised the succession of Amber to a princess of his house, the 
Bundi records do not tell : they refer only to the prospects of its 
own prince. But we may, without any reflection on the gallantry 
of Holkar, express a doubt how far he would have lent the aid 
of his horde to this sole object, had he not had in view the splendid 
bribe of sixty-four lakhs from the Rana, to be paid when Isari 
Singh should be removed, for his nephew Madho Singli.^ 

1 [On the Nerbudda as a barrier see Vol. II. p. 971.] 

- [The Holkar family belonged to the Dhangar, or Mariitha shepherd 
caste, taking their name from the village of Hoi on the Nira River in Poona 
District (Grant Duff 212 ; BG, xviii. Part ii. 244).] 

® See Annals of Mewar, Vol. I. p. 495. 



1504 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtfNDI 


Be this as it may, the Bundi clironicle states that the lady, 
instead of the temporary expedient of delivering Bundi, con- 
ducted the march of the Mahrattas direct on Jaipur. Circum- 
stances favoured her designs. The character of Isari Singh had 
raised up enemies about his person, who seized the occasion to 
forward at once the \Tlews of Bundi and Mewar, whose princes 
had secretly gained them over to their views. 

The Amber prince no sooner heard of the approach of the 
Mahrattas to his capital than he quitted it to offer them battle. 
But their strength had been misrepresented, nor was it till he 
reached the castle of Bagru ^ that he was undeceived and sur- 
rounded. When too late, he saw that ‘ treason had done its 
worst,' and that the confidence he had placed in the successor of 
a minister whom he had murdered, met its natural reward. The 
bard has transmitted in a sloka the cause of liis overthrow : 

Jabitl clihoal tsra 
Kaj karan ki dft, 

Mantrl moto mariijo 
Khatri Kesodds, 

‘ Isari forfeited all hopes of regality, when he slew that great 
minister Keshodas.’ 

Jaipur forced to restore Ummed Singh. — The sons of tliis 
minister, named Harsahai and Gursahai, betrayed their prince 
to the ‘ Southron,’ by a false return of their mmibers, and led 
him to the attack with means totally inadequate. Resistance 
to a vast numerical superiority would have been madness : he 
retreated to the castle of this fief of Amber, where, after a siege 
of ten days, he was forced not only to sign a deed for the surrender 
of Bimdi, and the renunciation of all claims to it for himself and 
his descendants, but to put, in full acknowledgment of his rights, 
the tika on the forehead of Ummeda. With this deed, and 
accompanied by the contingent of Kotah, they proceeded to 
Bundi ; the traitor was expelled ; and while rejoicings were 
making to celebrate the installation of Ummeda, the funereal 
pyre was hghted at Amber, to consume the mortal remains of his 
foe. Raja Isari could [492] not survive his disgrace, and ter- 
minated his existence and hostility by poison, thereby facilitating 
the designs both of Bundi and Mewar. 

* [10 miles S. of Jaipur city.] 


JAIPUR FORCED TO RESTORE UMMED SINGH 1505 


Thus in S. 1805 (a.d. 1749) Ummeda regained his patrimony, 
after fourteen years of exile, during wliich a traitor had' pressed 
the royal ‘ cushion ’ of Hundi. But this contest deprived it of 
many of its ornaments, and, combined with other causes, at 
.length reduced it almost to its intrinsic worth, ‘ a heap of cotton.’ 
Malhar Rao, the founder of the Holkar State, in \’irtue of his 
adoption as the brother of the widow-queen of Budh Singh, had 
the title of Mamu, or uncle, to young Ummeda. But true to the 
maxims of his race, he did not take his buckler to protect the 
oppressed, at the impulse of those chivalrous notions so familiar 
to the Rajput, but deemed a portion of the Bimdi territory a 
better incentive, and a more imequivocal proof of gratitude, than 
the titles of brother and uncle. Accordingly, he demanded, and 
obtained by regular deed of surrender, the town and district of 
Patan on the left bank of the Chambal,*^ 

The sole equivalent (if such it could be termed) for these 
fourteen years of usurpation, were the fortifications covering the 
palace and town, now called Taragarh (the ‘ Star-fort ’), built by 
Dalil Singh, Hadho Singh, who succeeded to the gaddi of Jaipur, 
followed up the designs commenced by Jai Singh, and which had 
cost his successor his life, to render the smaller States of Central 
India dependent on Amber. For this Kotah had been besieged, 
and Ummeda expelled, and as such policy could not be effected 
by their unassisted means, it only tended to the benefit of the 
auxiliaries, who soon became principals, to the prejudice and 
detriment of all. Madho Singh, ha\ing obtained the castle ,of 
Ranthambhor, a pretext was afforded for these pretensions to 
supremacy. From the time of its surrender by Rao Surjan to 
Akbar, the importance of this castle was established by its 
becoming the first Sarkar, or • department,’ in the province of 
Ajmer, consisting of no less than ‘ seventy-three mahals,’ ^ or 

1 As in those days when Mahratta spoliation commenced, a joint-stock 
purse was made for all such acquisitions, so Patan was divided into shares, 
of which the Peshwa had one, and Sindhia another ; but the Peshwa’s share 
remained nominal, and the revenue was carried to account by Holkar for 
the services of the Poona State, In the general pacification of a.i>. 1817, 
this long-lost and much -cherished district was once more incorporated with 
Bundi, to the unspeakable gratitude and joy of its prince and people. In 
effecting this for the grandson of Ummeda, the Author secured for himself 
a gratification scarcely less than bis. 

2 [Ain, ii. 102, 274 f. Jarrett writes Sui Supar or Sui Sopar.] 


1506 


ANNALS OP HARAVATI : BONDI 


extensive fiefs, in which were comprehended not only Bundi and 
Kotah, and all their dependencies, but the entire State of Sheopur, 
and all the petty fiefs south of the Banganga, the aggregate of 
wliich now constitutes the State of Amber. In fact, with the 
exception of Mahmudabad in Bengal,^ Ranthambhor was the^ 
most extensive Sarkar of the empire. In the decrepitude of 
the empire, this castle was maintained by a veteran commander 
[193] as long as funds and provisions lasted ; but these failing, 
in order to secure it from falling into the hands of the Mahrattas, 
and thus being lost for ever to the throne, he sought out a Rajput 
prince, to whom he might entrust it. He applied to Bundi ; but 
the Hara, dreading to compromise his fealty if unable to maintain 
it, refused the boon ; and having no alternative, he resigned it 
to the prince of Amber as a trust wltich he could no longer defend. 

Out of this circumstance alone originated the claims of Jaipur 
to tribute from the Kothris, or fiefs in Haraoti ; claims without a 
shadow of justice ; but the maintenance of which, for the sake 
of the display of supremacy and paltry annual relief, has nourished 
half a century of irritation, wliich it is high time should cease.” 

Zalim Singh o£ Kotah. — It was the assertion of this supremacy 
over Kotah as well as Bundi which first brought into notice the 
most celebrated Rajput of modern times, Zalim Singh of Kotah. 
Rao Durjansal, who then ruled that State, had too much of the 
Hara blood to endure such pretensions as the casual possession of 
Ranthambhor conferred upon his brother prince of Amber, who 

^ [Ain, ii. 132 f.] 

” The universal arbitrator, Zalim Singh of Kotah, having undertaken 
to satisfy them, and save them from the annual visitations of the Jaipur 
troops, withdrew the proper allegiance of Indargarh, Balwan, and Antardah 
to himself. The British government, in ignorance of these historical facts, 
and not desirous to disturb the existing state of things, were*averse to hear 
the Bundi claims for the restoration of her proper authority over these her 
chief vassals. With all his gratitude for the restoration of his political 
existence, the brave and good Bishan Singh could not suppress a sigh when 
the author said that Lord Hastings refused to go into the question of the 
Kothris, who had thus transferred their allegiance to Zalim Singh of Kotah. 
In their usual metaphorical style, he said, with great emphasis and sorrow, 
“ My wings remain broken.” It would be a matter of no difficulty to 
negotiate the claims of Jaipur, and cause the regent of Kotah to forgo his 
interposition, which would be attended with no loss of any kind to him, 
but would aliord unspeakable benefit and pride to Bundi, which has well 
deserved the boon at our hands. 



UMMED SINGH’S REVENGE ON INDARGARH 1507 


considered that, as the late lieutenant of the king, he had a right 
to transfer his powers to himself. The battle of Bhatwara, in 
S. 1817 (a.d. 1761), for ever extinguished these pretensions, on 
- which occasion Zalim Singh, then scarcely of age, mainly contri- 
buted to secure the independence of the State he was ultimately 
destined to gov'crn. But this exploit belongs to the annals of 
Ivotah, and would not have been here alluded to, except to 
remark, that had the Bundi army joined Kotah in this common 
cause, they would have redeemed its fiefs from the tribute they 
are still compelled to pay to Jaipur. 

Ummeda's active mind was engrossed with the restoration of 
the prosperity which the unexampled vicissitudes of the last 
fifteen years had undermined ; but he felt his spirit cramped and 
his energies contracted by the dominant influence and avarice 
of the insatiable Mahrattas, through whose means he recovered 
his capital ; still there was as yet no fixed principle of government 
recognized, and the Rajputs, who [494] witnessed their periodical 
\’isitations like flights of locusts over their plains, hoped that 
this scourge would be equally transitory. Under this great and 
pernicious error, all the Rajput States continued to mix these 
‘ interlopers in their national disputes, which none had more cause 
to repent than the Haras of Bundi. But the hold which the 
Mahrattas retained upon the lands of ‘ Dewa Banga ’ would 
never have acquired such tenacity, had the bold arm and sage 
mind of Ummeda continued to guide the vessel of the State 
throughout the lengthened period of his natural existence : his 
premature political decease adds another example to the truth, 
that patriarchal, and indeed all governments are imperfect where 
the laws are not supreme. 

Ununed Singh’s Revenge on Indargarh. — An act of revenge 
stained the reputation of Ummeda, naturally virtuous, and but 
^ for which deed we should have to paint him as one of the bravest, 
wisest, and most faultless characters which Rajput history has 
recorded. Eight years had elapsed since the recovery of his 
dominions, and we have a right to infer that his wrongs and their 
authors had been forgotten, or rather forgiven, for human nature 
r can scarcely forget so treacherous an act as that of his vassal of 
Indargarh, on the defeat of Dablana. As so long a time had 
passed since the restoration without the penalty of his treason 
being exacted, it might have been concluded that the natural 



1508 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


generosity of this high-minded prince had co-operated with a wise 
policy, in passing over the wrong without forgoing his right to 
avenge it. The degenerate Rajput, who could at such a moment 
witness the necessities of his prince and refuse to relieve them, 
could never reflect on that hour without self-abhorrence ; but 
his spirit was too base to offer reparation by a future life of duty ; 
he cursed the magnanimity of the man he had injured ; hated him 
for liis very forbearance, and aggravated the part he had acted by 
fresh injuries, and on a point too dehcate to admit of being 
overlooked. Unimcda had ‘ sent the coco-nut,’ the symbol of 
matrimonial alliance, to ^ladho Singh, in the name of his sister. 
It was received in a full assembly of all the nobles of the court, 
and with the respect due to one of the most illustrious races of 
Rajputana. Deo Singh of Indargarh was at that time on a visit 
at Jaipur, and the compliment was paid him by the Raja of 
asking “ what fame said of the daughter of Budh Singh ? ” It 
is not impossible that he might have sought this opportunity of 
further betraying his prince ; for his reply was an insulting 
innuendo, leading to doubts as to the purity of her blood. That 
it was grossly false, was soon proved by the solicitation of her 
hand by Raja Bijai Singh of Marwar. “ The coco-nut was 
returned to Bundi,’" — an insult never to be forgiven by a 
Rajput [495]. 

In S. 1813 (a.d. 1757), Unimeda went to pay his devotions at 
the shrine of Bijaiseni Mata {‘ the mother of victory ’), near 
Karwar.^ Being in the vicinity of Indargarh, he invited its 
chief to join the assembled vassals with their families ; and though 
dissuaded, Deo Singh obeyed, accompanied by his son and 
grandson. /Vll were cut off at one fell swoop, and the line of the 
traitor was extinct : as if the air of heaven should not be con- 
taminated by the smoke of their ashes, Ummeda commanded 
that the bodies of the calumnious traitor and his issue should be 
thrown into the lake. His fief of Indargarh was given to his 
brother, between whom and the present incumbent four genera- 
tions have passed away. 

Fifteen years elapsed, during which the continual scenes of 
disorder around him furnished ample occupation for his thoughts. 
Yet, in the midst of all, woifld intrude the remembrance of this 

^ [About 30 miles N.E. of Bundi city : for Bijaiseni Mata see Vol. II. 
p. 1193.] 


ABDICATION OF MAHARAO UMMED SINGH 1509 


single act, in which he had usurped the powers of Him to whom 
alone it belongs to execute vengeance. Though no voice was 
lifted up against the deed, though he had a moral conviction that 
a traitor’s death was the due of Deo Singh, his soul, generous as 
it was brave, revolted at the crime, however sanctified by custom,^ 
which confounds the innocent with the guilty. To appease his 
conscience, he determined to abdicate the throne, and pass the 
rest of his days in penitential rites, and traversing, in the pUgriin’s 
garb, the vast regions of India, to visit the sacred shrines of his 
faith. 

Abdication of Maharao TJmmed Singh. — In S. 1827 (a.d. 1771), 
the imposing ceremony of ‘ Jugraj,’ which terminated the political 
existence of Ummeda, was performed. An image of the prince 
was made, and a pyre was erected, on which it was consumed. 
The hair and whiskers of A jit, his successor, were taken off, and 
offered to the Manes ; lamentation and wailing were heard in the 
ranwas,^ and the twelve days of matam, or ‘ mourning,’ were 
passed as if Ummeda had really deceased ; ’ on the expiration of 
which, the installation of his successor took place, when Ajit 
Singh was proclaimed prince of the Haras of Bundi. 

The abdicated Ummeda, with the title of Sriji (by which alone 
he was henceforth known), retired to that holy spot in the valley 
sanctified by the miraculous cure of the first ‘ lord of the Patar,’ * 
and which was named after one of the fountains of the Ganges, 
Kedarnath. To this spot, hallowed by a multitude of associations, 
the warlike pilgrim brought 

The fruit and flower of many a province, 

and had the gratification to find these exotics, whether the hardy 
offspring of the [496] snow-clad Himalaya, or the verge of ocean 
in the tropic, fructify and flourish amidst the rocks of his native 
abode. It is curious even to him who is ignorant of the moral 

1 The laws of revenge are dreadfully absolute : had the sons of Deo 
Singh survived, the feud upon their liege lord would have been entailed 
with their estate. It is a nice point for a subject to balance between fidelity 
to his prince, and a father’s feud, bap ka vair, 

* The queens’ apartments. 

® [In early Hindu times a similar performance of mock funereal rites 
took place in the event of contumacious disregard of the rules of caste 
(Barnett, Antiquities of India, 120).] 

* See p. 1463. 



1510 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


vicissitudes which produced it, to see the pine of Tibet, the cane 
of Malacca, and other exotics, planted by the hand of the princely 
ascetic, flourishing around his hermitage, in s[)ite of the intense 
heats of this roek-bound abode. 

When Ummeda resigned the sceptre of .the Haras, it was from 
the eon\’iction that a life of meditation alone could vield the 
consolation, and obtain the forgiveness which he fcjund necessary 
to his repose. But in assuming the pilgrim’s staff, he did not 
lay aside any feeling becoming his rank or his birth. Tliere was 
no pusillanimous prostration of intellect ; no puling weakness 
of bigoted sentiment, but the same lofty mind which redeemed 
his birthright, accompanied him wherever he bent his steps to 
seek knowledge in the society of devout and lioly men. He had 
read in the annals of his own and of other States, that “ the 
trappings of royalty were snares to perdition, and that happy 
was the man who in time threw them aside and made his peace 
with heaven.” But in obeying, at once, the dictates of conscience 
and of custom, he felt his mind too much alive to the wonders of 
creation, to bury himself in the fane of Kanhaiya, or the sacred 
baths on the Ganges ; and he determined to see all those holy 
places commemorated in the ancient epics of his nation, and the 
never-ending theme of the wandering devotee. In this deter- 
mination he was, perhaps, somewhat influenced by that love of 
adventure in which he had been nurtured, and it was a balm to 
Ms mind when he found that arms and religion were not only 
compatible, but that his pious resolution to force a way through 
the difficulties which beset the pilgrim's path, enhanced the merit 
of Ms devotion. Accordingly, the royal ascetic went forth on 
his pilgrimage, not habited in the hermit's garb, but armed at all 
points. Even in this there was penance, not ostentation, and he 
carried or buckled on Ms person one of every species of offensive 
or defensive weapon then in use : a load which would oppress 
any two Rajputs in these degenerate times. He wore a quilted 
tuMc, which would resist a sabre-cut ; besides a matchlock, a 
lance, a sword, a dagger, and their appurtenances of knives, 
pouches, and priming-hom, he had a battle-axe, a javelin, a 
tomahawk, a discus, bow and quiver of arrows ; and it is affirmed 
that such was his muscular power, even when threescore and ten 
years had blanched his beard in wandering to and fro thus ac- 
coutred, that he could place the whole of tMs panoply within his 


THE WANDERINGS OF UMJMED SINGH 


1511 


shield, and with one arm not only raise it, but hold it for some 
seconds extended [497]. 

The Wanderings of Unuued Singh. — With a small escort of his 
gallant clansmen, during a long series of years he traversed every 
region, from the glacial fountains of the Ganges to the southern 
promontory of Rameswaram ; * and from the hot-wells of Sita 
in Arakan,” and the Moloch of Orissa,’ to the shrine of the Hindu 
Apollo at ‘ the world’s end.’ * Within these limits of Hinduism, 
Ummeda saw every place of holy resort, of curiosity, or of learning ; 
and whenever he revisited his paternal domains, his return was 
greeted not only by his own tribe, but by every prince and Rajput 
of Rajwara, who deemed his abode hallowed if the princely 
pilgrim halted there on his route. He was regarded as an oracle, 
while the treasures of knowledge which his observation had 
accumulated, caused his conversation to be courted and every 
word to be recorded. The admiration paid to him while living 
cannot be better ascertained than by the reverence manifested 
by every Hara to his memory. To them his word was a law, 
and every relic of him continues to be held in veneration. Almost 
his last journey was to the extremity of his nation, the temples 
at the Delta of the Indus, and the shrine of the Hindu Cybele, 
the terrific Agnidevi of Hinglaj, on the shores of Makran, even 
beyond the Rubicon of the Hindus.’ As he returned by Dwarka 
he was beset by a band of Kabas,® a plundering race infesting 
these regions. But the veteran, uniting the arm of flesh to that 
of faith, valiantly defended himself, and gained a complete 
victory, making prisoner their leader, who, as the price of his 
ransom, took an oath never again to molest the pilgrims to 
Dwarka. 

The warlike pilgrimage of Ummeda had been interrupted by a 
tragical occurrence, which occasioned the death of his son, and 
compelled him to abide for a time at the seat of government 
to superintend the education of his grandchild. This eventful 

’ [In the island of Pamban, Madura District, Madras {IGl, xxi. 173 ff.).] 
’ [Sitakund, in Chittagong District, Bengal (ibid, xxiii. SO).] 

’ [Jagannath, not “ a Moloch ” : religious suicides under his car are 
infrequent (Hunter, Orissa, i. 133 f.).] 

® [Krishna, at Dwarka.] 

’ [Kali, Parvati, Mata, or Nani, not Agnidevi, is worshipped at Hinglaj 
(/(?/, xiu. 142).] 

‘ [See Vol. II. p, 1170.] 



1512 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BtfNDI 


catastrophe, interwoven in the border history of Mewar and 
Haraoti, is well worthy of narration, as illustrative of manners 
and belief, and fulfilled a prophecy pronounced centuries before 
by the dying Sati of Bumbaoda, that “ the Rao and the Rana 
should never meet at the Aheria (or spring hunt) without death 
ensuing.” What we are about to relate was the fourth repetition 
of this sport with the like fatal result. 

The hamlet of Bilaita, which produced but a few good mangoes, 
and for its population a few Minas, was the ostensible cause of 
dispute. The chief of Bundi, either deeming it within his territory, 
or desiring to consider it so, threw up a fortification, in which he 
placed a garrison to overaw'e the freebooters, who were instigated 
by the discontented chiefs of Mewar to represent this as an 
infringement of their prince's rights. Accordingly, the Rana 
marched with all his chieftains, and a mercenary [498] band of “ 
Sindis, to the disputed point, whence he invited the Bundi prince, 
Ajit, to his camp. He came, and the Rana was so pleased with 
his manners and conduct, that Bilaita and its mango grove were 
totally forgottem Spring was at hand ; the joyous month of 
Phalgun, when it was necessary to open the year wth a sacrifice 
of the boar to Gauri (see Vol. II. p. 660). The young Kara, in 4 

return for the courtesies of the Rana, invited him to open the . 
Aheria, within the ramnas or preserves of Bundi. The imitation 
was accepted : the prince of the Sesodias, according to usage, 
distributed the green turbans and scarfs, and on the appointed 
day, with a brilliant cavalcade, repaired to the heights of 
Nanta. 

Murder of. Rana Ari Singh. — The abdicated Rao, who had 
lately returned from Badarinath, no sooner heard of the projected 
hunt, than he dispatched a special messenger to remind his son 
of the anathema of the Sati. The impetuous Ajit replied that it 
was impossible to recall liis invitation on such pusillanimous , 
grounds. The morning came, and the Rana, filled with senti- ‘ 
ments of friendship for the young Rao, rode with him to the 
field. But the preceding evening, the minister of Mewar had 
waited on the Rao, and in language the most insulting told him 
to siurender Bilaita, or he would send a body of Sindis to place 
him in restraint, and he was vile enough to insinuate that he was 
merely the organ of his prince’s commands. This rankled in the 
mind of the Rao throughout the day ; and when the sport was 


MURDER OF RANA ARI SINGH 


1513 


over, and he had the Rana’s leave to depart, a sudden idea passed 
across his mind of the intended degradation,- and an incipient 
resolution to anticipate this disgrace induced him to return. The 
Rana, unconscious of any offence, received his young friend with 
a smile, repeated his permission to retire, and observed that 
they should soon meet again. Irresolute, and overcome by this 
affable beha\'iour, his half-formed intent was abandoned, and 
again he bowed and withdrew. But scarcely had he gone a few 
paces when, as if ashamed of himself, he summoned up the 
powers of revenge, and rushed, spear in hand, upon his victim. 
With such unerring force did he ply it, that the head of the lance, 
after passing through the Rana, was transfixed in the neck of his 
steed. The wounded prince had merely time to exclaim, as he 
regarded the assassin on whom he had lavished his friendship, 
“ Oh, Hara ! what have you done ? ” when the Indargarh chief 
finished the treachery with his sword. The Hara Rao, as if 
glorjdng in the act, carried off the chhattar-chai^i, ‘ the golden 
sun in the sable disk,’ the regal insignia of Mewar, which he lodged 
in the palace of Bundi. The abdicated Ummeda, whose gratified 
revenge had led to a life of repentance, was horror-struck at this 
>* fresh atrocity in his house [499] : he cried, “ Shame on the 
deed ! ” nor would he henceforth look on the face of his son. 

A highly dramatic effect is thrown around the last worldly 
honours paid to the murdered king of Mewar ; and although his 
fate has been elsewhere described, it may be proper to record it 
from the chronicle of his foeman. 

The Obsequies of Rana Ari Singh. — The Rana and the Bundi 
prince had married two sisters, daughters of the prince of Kishan- 
garh, so that there were ties of connexion to induce the Rana to 
reject all suspicion of danger, though he had been warned by 
his wife to beware of his brother-in-law. The ancient feud had 
» been balanced in the mutual death of the last two princes, and 
no motive for enmity existed. On the day previous to this 
disastrous event, the Mewar minister had given a feast, of which 
the princes and their nobles had partaken, when all was harmony 
and friendship ; but the sequel to the deed strongly corroborates 
/'the opinion that it was instigated by the nobles of Mewar, in 
hatred of their tyrannical prince ; and other hints were not 
, wanting in addition to the indignant threats of the minister to 
i kindle the feeling of revenge. At the moment the blow was 



1514 


ANNAI.S OF HARAVATI : BDNDl 


struck, a simple mace-bearer alone had the fidelity to defend his 
master ; not a chief was at hand either to intercept the stroke, 
or pursue the assassin ; on the contrary, no sooner was the deed 
consummated, than the whole chivalry of Mewar, as if panic- 
struck and attacked by a host, took to flight, abandoning their 
camp and the dead body of their master. 

A single concubine remained to perform the last rites to her 
lord. She commanded a costly pyre to be raised, and prepared 
to become his companion to a world unknown. With the mur- 
dered corpse in her arms, she reared her form from the pile, and, 
as the torch was applied, she pronounced a curse on his murderer, 
invoking the tree under whose shade it was raised to attest the 
prophecy, “ that, if a selfish treachery alone prompted the deed, 
within two months the assassin might be an example to mankind : 
but if it sprung from a noble revenge of any ancient feud, she 
absolved him from the curse : a branch of the tree fell in tokens 
of assent, and <(ie ashes of the Rana and the Sati whitened the 
plain of Bilaita.” 

Death of Maharao Ajit Singh. — ^Within the two months, the 
prophetic anathema was fulfilled ; the Rao of the Haras was a 
corpse, exhibiting an awful example of di-vnne vengeance : “ the 
flesh dropped from his bones, and he expired, an object of loathing 
and of misery.” Hitherto these feuds had been balanced by 
the lex talionis, or its substitutes, but this last remains unappeased, 
strengthening the belief that it was prompted from Mewar [500]. 

Mahar^ Bishan Singh, a.d. 1770-1821. — Bishan Singh, the 
sole offspring of Ajit, and who succeeded to the gaddi, was then 
an infant, and it became a matter of necessity that Sriji should 
watch his interests. Having arranged the affairs of the infant 
Rao, and placed an intelligent Dhabhai (foster-brother) at the 
head of the government, he recommenced his peregrinations, 
being often absent four years at a time, until within a few years 
of his death, when the feebleness of age confined him to his 
hermitage of Kedamath. 

It affords an additional instance of Rajput instability of 
character, or rather of the imperfection of their government, that, 
in his old age, when a life of austerity had confirmed a renuncia- ' 
tion which reflection had prompted, the venerable warrior became 
an object of distrust to his grandchild. Miscreants, who dreaded 
to see wisdom near the throne, had the audacity to add insult to a 



MAHARAO BISHAN SINGH 


1515 


prohibition of Sriji’s return to Bundi, commanding him “ to eat 
sweetmeats and tell his beads at Benares.” The messenger, who 
found him advanced as far as Nayashahr,^ delivered the mandate, 

■ V adding that his ashes should not mingle with his fathers’. But 

such was the estimation in which he was held, and the sanctity 
he had acquired from these pilgrimages, that the sentence was 
no §ooner known than the neighbouring princes became suitors 
for his society. The heroism of his youth, the dignified piety of 
his age, inspired the kindred mind of Partap Singh of Amber with 
very different feelings from those of his own tribe. He addressed 
Sriji as a son and a servant, requesting permission to ‘ darshnnkar ’ 
(worship him), and convey him to his capital. Such was the 
courtesy of the flower of the Kaehhwahas ! Sriji declined tliis 
mark of homage, but accepted the invitation. He was received 
with honour, and so strongly did the gallant and virtuous Partap 
feel the indignity put upon the abdicated prince, that he told 
him, if “ any remnant of worldly association yet lurked within 
him,” he would in person, at the head of all the troops of Amber^ 
place him on the throne both of Bundi and Kotah. Sriji’s reply 
was consistent with his magnanimity : “ They are both mine 
' ' already — on the one is my nephew, on the other my grandchild.” 

On this occasion, Zalim Singh of Kotah appeared on the scene 
as mediator ; he repaired to Bundi, and exposed the futilitj’’ of 
Bishan Singh's apprehensions ; and armed Avith full powers of 
reconciliation, sent Lalaji Pandit to escort the old Rao to his 
capital. The meeting was such as might have been expected, 
y between a precipitate youth tutored by artful knaves, and the 
venerable chief who had renounced every mundane feeling but 
affection for his offspring. It drew tears from all eyes : “ My 
child,” said the pilgrim-warrior, presenting his sword, “ take 
this ; apply it yourself if you think I can have any bad intentions 
» towards you ; but let not the base defame me ” [501]. The 
young Rao wept aloud as he entreated forgiveness ; and the 
Pandit and ZaUm Singh had the satisfaction of seeing the inten- 
tions of the sycophants, who surrounded the minor prince, 
defeated. Sriji refused, however, to enter the halls of Bimdi 
f during the remainder of his life, which ended about eight years 
after this event, when his grandchild entreated “ he would close 

* [Perhaps the town of that name in the Saharanpur District, United 
Provinces.] 



1516 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


his eyes witWn the walls of his fathers.” A remnant of that 
feeling inseparable from humanity made the dying Ummeda 
offer no objection, and he was removed in a sukhpal ‘ (litter) to the 
palace, where he that night breathed his last. Thus, in S. 1860 
(a.d. 1804), Ummeda Singh closed a varied and chequered life ; 
the sun of his morning rose amidst clouds of adversity, soon to 
burst forth in a radiant prosperity ; but scarcely had it attained 
its meridian glory ere crime dimmed its splendour and it descended 
in solitude and sorrow. 

Sixty years had passed over his head since Ummeda, when 
only thirteen years of age, put himself at the head of his Haras, 
and carried Patan and Gandoli. His memory is venerated in 
Haraoti, and but for the stain which the gratification of his 
revenge has left upon his fame, he would have been the model of 
a Rajput prince. But let us not apply the E\iropean standard of 
abstract virtue to these princes, who have so few checks and so 
many incentives to crime, and whose good acts deserve the more 
applause from an appalling honhar (predestination) counteracting 
moral responsibility. 

Colonel Monson’s Campaign. — The period of Sriji’s death was 
an important era in the history' of the Haras. It was at this time 
that a British army, under the unfortunate Monson, for the first 
time appeared in these regions, avowedly for the purpose of putting 
down Holkar, the great foe of the Rajputs, but especially of 
Bundi.“ llTiether the aged chief was yet alive and counselled 
this policy, which has since been gratefully repaid by Britain, 
we are not aware ; but whatever has been done for Bundi has 
fallen short of the chivalrous deserts of its prince. It was not 
on the advance of our army, when its ensigns were waving in 

1 [Sukhpal, “ happiness-protecting,” a luxurious litter, like the 
sukhasan or mahaiol (p. 1349).] 

2 [For a full account of the disastrous retreat of Hon. Lieut. -CoL William 
Monson see Mill, Hist, of India, vol. iii. (1817) 672 S. He was son of John, 
2ad Baron Monson ; born in 1760 : went to India with the 52nd Regiment 
in 1780. He shared in the attack on Seringapatam in 1792 : in the Maratha 
war of 1803 commanded a brigade under Lord Lake : led the storming party, 
and was seriously wounded at the capture of Aligarh, 4th September 1803. 
After his famous retreat .to Agra in 1804 he was again employed under 
Lord Lake in his campaign against Holkar : was present at the battle of Dig, 
14th November 1804,and led thelast of the four assaultsonBharatpur in 1805. 
He returned to England in 1806, and was elected member for Lincoln. 
He died in December 1807. (C. E Buckland, Diet. Indian Biography, s.i;.).] 



COMPENSATION TO BCNDI 


1517 


anticipation of success, but on its hunuliatiug flight, that a safe 
passage was not only cheerfully granted, but aided to the utmost 
of the Raja’s means, and with an almost culpable disregard of 
his own welfare and interests. It was, indeed, visited with 
retribution, which we little knew, or, in the pusillanimous poUey 
of that day, little heeded. Suffice it to say, that, in 1817, when 
we called upon the Rajputs to arm and coalesce with us in the 
putting down of rapine, Bundi was one of the foremost to join 
the alliance. Well she might be ; for the Mahratta flag waved 
in unison with her own within the walls of the capital, while the 
revenues collected scarcely [502] afforded the means of personal 
protection to its prince. Much of this was owing to om abandon- 
ment of the Rao in 1804. 

Compensation to Bundi after the Pindari War. — Throughout the 
contest of 1817, Bundi had no will but omrs ; its prince and 
dependents were in arms ready to execute our behest ; and when 
victory crowned om efforts in every quarter, on the subsequent 
pacification, the Rao Raja Bishan Singh was not forgotten. The 
districts held by Holkar, some of which had been alienated for 
half a century, and which had become omrs by right of conquest, 
were restored to Bundi without a qualification ; while, at the 
same time, we negotiated the smrrender to him of the districts 
held by Sindhia, on his paying, through us, an annual sum cal- 
culated on the average of the last ten years’ depreciated revenue. 
The intense gratitude felt by the Raja was expressed in a few 
forcible words : “ I am not a man of protestation ; but my head 
is yours whenever you require it.” This was not an unmeaning 
phrase of compliment ; he would have sacrificed his life, and that 
of every Hara who “ ate his salt,” had we made experiment of his 
fidelity. StUl, immense as were the benefits showered upon 
Bimdi, and with which her prince was deeply penetrated, there 
was a drawback. The old Machiavelli of Kotah had been before 
him in signing himself '■fidwi Sarkar Angrez ’ (the slave of the 
English government), and had contrived to get Indargarh, 
Balwan, Antardah, and Khatoh, the chief feudatories of Bundi, 
imder his protection. 

The frank and brave Rao Raja could not help deeply regretting 
an arrangement, which, as he emphatically said, was “ chpping 
his wings.” The disposition is a bad one, and both justice and 
political expediency enjoin a revision of it, and the bringing about 



1518 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BCNDI 


a compromise which would restore the integrity of the most 
interesting and deserving little State in India.^ Well has it 
repaid the anxious care we manifested for its interests ; for while 
every other principality has, by some means or other, caused 
uneasiness or trouble to the protecting pow'er, Bundi has silently 
advanced to comparative prosperitj', happy in her independence, 
and interfering with no one. The Rao Raja survived the restora- 
tion of his independence only four short years, when he was 
carried off by that scourge, the cholera morbus. In his extremity, 
writhing under a disease w'liich unmans the .strongest frame and 
mind, he was cool and composed. He interdicted his wives 
from following him to the pyre, and bequeathing his son and 
successor [503] to the guardianship of the representative of the 
British government, breathed his last in the prime of life. 

Death and Character of Maharao Bishan Singh. — The char- 
acter of Bishan Singh may be summed up in a few words. He 
was an honest man, and every inch a Rajput. Under an un- 
polished exterior, he concealed an excellent heart and an energetic 
soul ; he was by no means deficient in understanding, and pos- 
sessed a thorough knowledge of his owti interests. When the 
Mahrattas gradually curtailed his revenues, and circumscribed 
his power and comforts, he seemed to delight in showing how 
easily he could dispense with unessential enjoyments ; and found 
in the pleasures of the chase the only stimulus befitting a Rajput. 
He would bivouac for days in the lion's lair, nor quit the scene 
until he had circumvented the forest king, the only prey he 

1 The Author had the distiuiiuished happiness of concluding the treaty 
with Bundi in February 1818. His previous knowledge of her deserts was 
not disadvantageous to her interests, and he assumed the responsibility 
of concluding it upon the general principles which were to regulate our future 
policy as determined in the commencement of the war ; and setting aside 
the views which trenched upon these in our subsequent negotiations. These 
general principles laid it down as a sine qua non that the Mahrattas should 
not have a foot of land in Rajputana west of the Chambal ; and he closed 
the door to recantation by sealing the reunion in perpetuity to Bundi, of 
Patan and aU land so situated. [In 1847, with the consent of Sindhia, his 
share of the Patan district was made over in perpetuity to Bundi on pay- 
ment of a further sum of Rs. 80,000, to be credited to Gwalior. Under the 
treaty of 1860 with Sindhia the sovereignty of this tract was transferred 
to the British Government, from whom Bundi now holds it as a perpetual 
fief, subject to the payment of Rs. 80,000 per annum, in addition to the 
tribute of Rs. 40,000 payable under the treaty of 1818 {IGI. ix. 81 f.).] 


THE MINISTERS OF BtJNDI 


1519 


deemed worthy of his skill. He had slain upwards of one hundred 
lions with his own hand, besides many tigers, and boars innumer- 
able had been victims to his lance. In this noble pastime, not 
'* exempt from danger, and pleasurable in proportion to the toil, 
he had a limb broken, which crippled him for life, and shortened 
his stature, previously below the common standard. But when 
he mounted his steed and waved his lance over his head, there 
was a masculine \'igour and dignity which at once evinced that 
Bishan Singh, had we called upon him, would have wielded his 
. weapon as worthily in our cause as did his glorious ancestors for 
Jahangir or Shah Alam. He was somewhat despotic in his own 
little empire, knowing that fear is a necessary incentive to respect 
in the governed, more especially amongst the civil servants of 
his government ; and, if the Court Journal of Bundi may be 
** credited, his audiences with his chancellor of the exchequer, who 
was his premier, must have been amusing to those in the ante- 
chamber. The Raja had a reserved fund, to which the minister 
was required to add a hundred rupees daily ; and whatever plea 
he might advance for the neglect of other duties, on this point 
none would be listened to, or the appeal to Indrajit was threatened. 
“ The conqueror of Indra ” was no superior divinity, but a shoe 
of superhuman size suspended from a peg, where a more classic 
prince would have exhibited his rod of empire. But he reserved 
this for his barons, and the shoe, thus misnamed, was the humili- 
ating corrective for an offending minister. 

The Ministers of BundL — At Bundi, as at all these patriarchal 
T principalities, the chief agents of power are few. They are four 
in number, namely : 1. The Diwan, or JIusahib ; 2. The Paujdar, 
or Kiladar ; 3. The Bakhshi ; 4. The Risala, or ComptroUer of 
Accounts [504].^ 

This little State became so connected with the imperial comd, 
^ that, like Jaipur, the princes adopted several of its customs. 
The Pardhan, or premier, was entitled Diwan and Musahib ; and 
he had the entire management of the territory and finances. 
The Faujdar or Kiladar is the governor of the castle, the Maire de 
Palais, who at Bundi is never a Rajput, but some Dhabhai or 
foster-brother, identified with the family, who likewise heads the 

^ [Risala properly means ‘ a letter, account.’ Ris^adar has, in the 
British service, the special sense of a native officer commanding a troop of 
cavalry (Yule, Hohson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 761 f.).] 



1520 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : BONDI 


feudal quotas or the mercenaries, and has lands assigned for their 
support. The Bakhshi controls generally all accounts ; the 
Risala those of the household e3q)enditure. The late prince’s 
management of his revenue was extraordinary. Instead of the 
surplus being lodged in the treasury, it centred in a mercantile 
concern conducted by the prime minister, in the profits of which 
the Raja shared. But while he exhibited but fifteen per cent 
gain in the balance-sheet, it was stated at thirty. From this 
profit the troops and dependents of the court were paid, chiefiy 
in goods and grain, and at such a rate as he chose to fix.’^ Their 
necessities, and their prince being joint partner in the firm, made 
complaint useless ; but the system entailed upon the premier 
imiversal execration. 

Bisban Singh left two legitimate sons : the Rao Raja Ram 
Singh, then eleven years of age, who was installed in August 1821 ; 
and the Maharaja Gopal Singh, a few months younger. Both 
were most promising youths, especially the Raja. He inherited 
his father’s passion for the chase, and even at this tender age 
received from the nobles * their nazars and congratulations on 
the first wild game he slew. Hitherto his pigmy sword had been 
proved only on kids or lambs. His mother, the queen-regent, is 
a princess of Kishangarh, amiable, able, and devoted to her son. 
It is ardently hoped that this most interesting State and family 
will rise to their ancient prosperity, under the generous auspices 
of the government which rescued it from ruin. In return, we 

may reckon on a devotion to which our power is yet a stranger 

strong hands and grateful hearts, which will court death in our 
behalf with the same indomitable spirit that has been exemplified 
in days gone by. Our wishes are for the prosperity of the Haras ' 
[505]. 

‘ The truck system, called pama, is well known in Rajputana. 

^ And from the Author with the rest, whose nephew he was by courtesy 
and adoption. [Ram Singh succeeded his father in 1821. He behaved with 
apathy and l^ewarmness in the Mutiny of 1857, but he was given the right 
of adoption in 1862, and died in 1889. He was “the most conservative 
prince in conservative Rajputsma, and a grand specimen of a true Rajput 
gentleman.” He was succeeded by his sou Maharao Raja Raghbir Sinoh 

iinT iV C91 1 ■# D Q 






KOTAH 


1521 


KOTAH 

CHAPTER 5 

Formation of Kotah State.^The early history of the Haras of 
Kotah belongs to Biindi, of whieh they were a junior branch. The 
separation took place when Shah Jahan was emperor of India, 
who bestowed Kotah and its dependencies on Madho Singh, the 
second son of Rao Ratan, for his distinguished gallantry in the 
battle of Burhanpur.^ 

Bao Madho Singh, c. a.d. 1625-30. — ^Madho Singh was bom 
in S. 1621 (a.d. 1565). At the early age of fourteen, he displayed 
that daring intrepidity whieh gave him the title of Raja, and 
Kotah with its three himdred and sixty townships (then the chief 
fief of Bimdi, and yielding two lakhs of rent), independent of his 
father. 

It has already been related, that the conquest of this tract was 
made from the Khota Bhils of the Ujla, the ‘ unmixed,’ or 
aboriginal race. From these the Rajput will eat, and all classes 
will ‘ drink water ’ at their hands.* Kotah was at that time but a 
series of hamlets, the abode of the Bhil chief, styled Raja, being 
the ancient fortress of Ekelgarh, five coss south of Kotah. But 
when Madho Singh was enfeoffed by the king, Kotah had already 
attained extensive limits. To the south it was bounded by 
Gagraun and Ghatoli, then held by the Khichis ; on the east, by 
Mangrol and [506] Nahargarh, the first belonging to the Gaiw, the 
last to a Rathor Rajput, who had apostatized to save his land 
and was now a Nawab ; to the north, it extended as far as Sultan- 
pur, on the Chambal, across which was the small domain of Nanta. 
In this space were contained three hundred and sixty townships, 
and a rich soil fertilized by numerous large streams. 

The favour and power Madho Singh enjoyed, enabled him 
to increase the domain he held direct of the crown, and his 
authority at his death extended to the barrier between Malwa 
and Haraoti. Madho Singh died in S. 1687, leaving five sons, 

* [See Elliot-Dowson vi. 395, 418.] 

* [Rajputs in early days used to intermarry and eat with Bhils, who 
were regarded, not as a menial tribe, but as lords of the soil (Russell, Tribes 
and Cosies Central Provinces, ii. 281).] 


1522 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


whose appanages became the chief fiefs of Kotah. To the holders 
and their descendants, in order to mark the separation between 
them and the elder Haras of Bundi, the patronymic of the foimder 
was applied, and the epithet Madhani is sufficiently distinctive 
whenever two Haras, bearing the same name, appear together. 
These were — 

1. Mukund Singh, who had Kotah. 

2. Mohan Singh, who had Paleta. 

3. Jujarh Singh, who had Kotra, and subsequently Ramgarh, 
Rilawan. 

4. Kaniram, who had Koila.* 

5. Kishor Singh who obtained Sangod. 

Rao Mukund Singh, a.d. 1630-57. — Raja Mukund Singh 
succeeded. To this prince the cliief pass in the barrier dividing 
Malwa from Haraoti owes its name of Mukunddarra ^ which gained 
an unfortunate celebrity on the defeat and flight of the British 
troops under Brigadier Monson, a.d. 1804. Mukund erected 
many places of strength and utility ; and the palace and petta ’ 
of Anta are both attributable to him. 

Raja Mukund gave one of those brilliant instances of Rajput 
devotion to the principle of legitimate rule, so many of which 
illustrate his national history. When Aurangzeb formed his 
parricidal design to detlurone his lather Shah Jahan, nearly every 
Rajput rallied round the throne of the aged monarch ; and the 
Rathors and the Haras were most conspicuous. The sons of 
Madho Singh, besides the usual ties of fidehty, forgot not that 
to Shah Jahan they owed their independence, and they deter- 
mined to defend him to the death. In S. 1714, in the field near 
Ujjain, afterwards named by the victor Fatehabad, the five 
brothers led their vassals, clad in the saffron-stained garment, 
with the bridal maur (coronet) on their head, denoting death or 
victory The imprudent intrepidity of the Rathor commander 
denied them the latter, but a [507] glorious death no power could 
prevent, and all the five brothers fell in one field. The yoxmgest. 

He held also the districts of Dah and Gura in grant direct of the empire. 

- [‘ The defile of Mukund,’ also written Mukunddwara, ‘ door or gate 
of Mukund,’ about 25 miles S. of Kotah city.] 

2 [The extra-mural suburb of a fortress (Yule, Hobson- Jobson, 2nd ed. 
702).] 

* [15th April 1658 (Jadunath Sarkar, Hist, of Aurangzib, ii. 1 ff.).] 



JAGAT SINGH : PEM SINGH ; KISHOR SINGH 1523 


Kishor Singh, was afterwards dragged from amidst the slain, and, 
though pierced with wounds, recovered. He was afterwards one 
of the most conspicuous of the intrepid Rajputs serving in the 
Deccan, and often attracted notice, especially in the capture of 
Bijapur. But the imperial princes knew not how to appreciate 
or to manage such men, who, when united under one who could 
control them, were irresistible. 

Rao Jagat Singh, a.d. 1657-70. — Jagat Singh, the son of 
Mukund, succeeded to the family estates, and to the mansab or 
dignity of a commander of two thousand, in the imperial army. 
He continued serving in the Deccan until his death in S. 1726, 
leaving no issue. 

Rao Pern Singh, a.d. 1670. — Pem Singh, son of Kaniram of 
Koda, succeeded ; but was so invincibly stupid that the Panch 
(council of chiefs) set him aside after six months’ rule, and sent him 
back to Koila, which is still held by his descendants.* 

Rm Kishor Singh I. a.d. 1670-86.— Kishor Singh, who so 
miraculously recovered from his wounds, was placed upon the 
gaddi. When the throne was at length obtained by Aurangzeb, 
Kishor was again serving in the south, and shedding his own 
blood, with that of his kinsmen, in its subjugation. He greatly 
distinguished himself at the siege of Bijapur, and was finally slain 
at the escalade of Arkatgarh (Arcot), in S. 1742. He was a noble 
specimen of a Kara ; and, it is said, counted fifty wounds on his 
person. He left three sons, Bishan Singh, Ram Singh, and 
Hamath Singh. The eldest, Bishan Singh, was deprived of his 
birthright for refusing to accompany his father to the south ; but 
had the appanage and royal palace of Anta conferred upon him. 
His issue was as follows : Prithi Singh, chief of Anta, whose son, 
Ajit Singh, had three sons, Chhattarsal, Guman Singh, and Raj 
Singh. 

Rao Ram Singh, a.d. 1686-1707. — ^Ram Singh, who was with 
his father when he was kUled, succeeded to all his dignities, and 

* A descendant of his covered Monson’s retreat even before this general 
reached the Mukunddarra Pass, and fell defending the ford of the Amjar, 
disdaining to retreat. His simple cenotaph marks the spot where in the 
gallant old style this chief “ spread his carpet ” to meet the Deccani host, 
while a British commander, at the head of a force capable of sweeping one 
end of India to the other, fled ! The Author will say more of this in his Per- 
sonal Narrative, having visited the spot. 



1524 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


was inferior to none in the contests whieh flU the page of imperial 
history, and in opposing the rise of the Mahrattas. In the war 
of succession, he embraced tlie cause of Prince Azam, the viceroy 
in the Deccan, against the elder, Muazzam, and was slain in the 
battle of Jajau, in S. 1764. In this memorable conflict, which 
decided the succession to the throne, the Kotah prince espoused 
the opposite cause to [508] the head of his house of Bundi, and 
Kara met Kara in that desperate encmmter, when a cannon-shot 
terminated the life of Ram Singh in the very zenith of liis career. 

Bao £hlm Singh, a.d. 1707-20. — Bhim Singh succeeded ; and 
with him Kotah no longer remained a raj of the third order. On 
the death of Bahadur Shah, and the accession of Farrukhsiyar, 
Raja Bhim espoused the cause of the Sayyids, when his mansab 
was uicreased to “five thousand,” a rank heretofore confined to 
princes of the blood and rajas of the first class. The elder branch 
of the Haras maintained its fealty to the throne against these 
usurping ministers, and thus the breach made at the battle of 
Jajau was widened by their taking opposite sides. The dis- 
graceful attempt of Raja Bhim on the life of Rao Raja Budh of 
Bundi has already been recorded. Having completely identified 
himself with the designs of the Sayyids and Jai Singh of Amber, 
he aided all the schemes of the latter to annihilate Bundi, an object 
the more easy of accomplishment since the unmerited and sudden 
misfortunes of Rao Budh had deprived him of his reason. Raja 
Bhim obtained the royal sanad or grant for all the lands on the 
Patar, from Kotah west, to the descent into Ahirwara east ; 
which comprehended much land of the Khichis as well as of Bimdi. 

He thus obtained the celebrated castle of Gagraun, now the 
strongest in Haraoti, and rendered memorable by its defence 
against Alau-d-din ; hkewise Mau Maidana, Shirgarh, Bara, 
Mangrol, and Barod, all to the eastward of the Chambal, which 
was formally constituted the western boundary of the State. The 
aboriginal Bliils of Ujla, or ‘ pure ’ descent, had recovered much 
of their ancient inheritance in the intricate tracts on the southern 
frontier of Haraoti. Of these, Manohar Thana, now the most 
southern garrison of Kotah, became their chief place, and here 
dwelt ‘ the king of the Bhils,’ Raja Chakarsen, whose person was ^ 
attended by five himdred horse and eight hundred bowmen, and 
to whom aU the various tribes of Bhils, from Mewar to the 
extremity of the plateau, owed obedience. This indigenous race. 



RAO BHIM SINGH 


1525 


whose simple life secured their preservation amidst all the vicissi- 
tudes of fortune, from Raja BhoJ of Dhar to Raja Bhim of Kotah, 
were dispossessed and hunted down without mercy, and their 
possessions added to Kotah. On the occasion of the subjugation 
of Bhilwara, the latter assigned tracts of land to the Umat chiefs 
of Narsingarh and Rajgarh Patan, with townships in thali, in 
Kotah proper, and hence arose the claim of Kotah on these 
independent States for the tribute termed tankhwah.’ At the 
same time all the [509] chieftains acknowledged the supremacy 
of Kotah, imder articles of precisely the same nature as those 
which guaranteed the safety and independence of Rajwara by 
Britain ; with this difference, that the Umats could not be installed 
without the khilat of recognition of the princes of Kotah. Had 
Raja Bhim lived, he woidd further have extended the borders of 
Haraoti, which were already carried beyond the mountains. 
Onarsi, Dig, Perawa, and the lands of the Chandarawats, were 
brought under subjection, but were lost with his death, which, 
like that of his predecessors, was an untimely sacrifice to duty 
towards the throne. 

When the celebrated Kilich Khan,® afterwards better known 
to history as Nizamu-l-mulk, fled from the court to maintain 
himself by force of arms in his government of the Deccan, Raja 
Jai Singh of Amber, as the lieutenant of the king, commanded 
Bhim Singh of Kotah and Gaj Singh of Narwar to intercept him 
in his passage. The Nizam was the Pagri badal Bhai, or ‘ turban- 
exchanged brother,’ of the Hara prince, and he sent him a friendly 
epistle, entreating him “ not to credit the reports to his dis- 
advantage, telling him that he had abstracted no treasures of 
the empire, and that Jai Singh was a meddling knave, who desired 

^ This is one more of the numerous inexplicable claims which the British 
Government has had to decide upon, since it became the universal arbitrator. 
Neither party understanding their origin, the difficulty of a just decision 
must be obvious. This sets it at rest. [Tankhwah, ‘wages, an assign- 
ment of revenue.’ For its technical sense tankhrvah jagir see Rogers- 
Beveridge, Memoirs of Jahangir, 74.] 

* [Kamaru-d-din, Asaf Jah, son of Ghaziu-d-din Khan Jang, bom 1671, 
received the title of Chin Qilich Khan in 1690-91 ; governor of Moradabad 
and Malwa under Farmkhsiyar ; gained supreme power in the Deccan in 
1720; died May 22, 1748, the present Nizams of Haidarabad being his 
successors (Manucci iv. 140 ; Grant Duff, History of the MahraUas, 190 ; 
Elliot-Dowson vii. passim).'] 



1526 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


the destruction of both ; and urging him to heed him not, nor offer 
any molestation to his passage to the south.” The brave Kara 
replied, that “ He knew the line between friendship and duty ; 
he was commanded to intercept him, and had advanced for that 
purpose ; it was the king’s order ; fight him he must, and next 
morning w'ould attack him.” The courtesy of the Rajput, who 
mingled no resentment with his hostility, but, like a true cavalier, 
gave due warning of his intention, was not thrown away upon the 
wily Muslim. The Nizam took post amidst the broken ground 
of the Sindh, near the town of Kurwai Borasa.* There was but 
one approach to his position without a circuitous march, which 
suited not the impatient Rajput ; and there his antagonist planted 
a batterj% masked by some brushwood. At the pila badal (morn- 
ing-dawn) Raja Bhim, having taken his amal-pani, or opium- 
water, mounted his elephant, and uniting his vassals to those of 
the Kachhwaha, the combined clans moved on to the attack, in 
one of those dense masses, with couched lances, whose shock is 
irresistible. They were within musket-shot of the Nizam ; had 
they reached him, Haidarabad would never have arisen on the 
ruins of Gualkund,- the ancient Kara abode ; but the battery 
opened, and in an instant the elephants with their riders, Raja 
Bhim and Raja Gaj, were destroyed. Horse and foot became 
commingled, happy to emerge from the toils into which the blind 
confidence of their leaders had carried them ; and Kilieh Khan 
j)ursued the career that destiny had marked out for him [510]. 

Loss of the Kara Tribal God. — On this occasion the Haras 
sustained a double loss : their leader, and their titular divinity, 
Brajnath, the god of Braj . This palladium of the Haras is a small 
golden image, which is borne on the saddle-bow of their princelv 
leader in every conflict. When the gol is formed and the lances 
are couched, the signal of onset is the shout of ‘ Jai Brajnathji ! ’ 

‘ Victory to Brajnath ! ’ and many a glorious \ictory and many 
a glorious death has he witnessed. After being long missing, the 
representative of the god was recovered and sent to Kotah, to 
the great joy of every Hara. It was in S. 1776 (a.d. 1720) that 
Bhim Singh perished, ha\ing ruled fifteen years, during which 
short period he established the affairs of his little dominion on a 
basis which has never been shaken. 

' [On the river Betwa, about 45 miles S.S.W. of Lalitpur.] 

’ [See p. 1449.] 



RAO BHIM SINGH ATTACKS BCNDI 


1527 


Rao Bhim Singh attacks Bundi. — The rivalry that commenced 
between the houses, when Kara encountered Hara on the plains 
of Dholpur, and each princely leader sealed his fidelity to the cause 
he espoused with his blood, was brought to issue by Raja Bhim, 
whose attack upon Rao Budh of Bundi, while defending the 
forlorn Parrukhsiyar, has already been related, though without 
its consequences. These were fatal to the supremacy of the elder 
branch ; for, taking advantage of his position and the expulsion 
of Rao Budh, in which he aided. Raja Bhim made an attempt 
upon Bundi, and despoiled that capital of all the insignia of 
sovereign rule, its nakkaras, or kettle-drums, with the celebrated 
ran-sankh, or war-shell, an heirloom descended from the heroes 
of antiquity. Even the military band, whose various discordant 
instruments are stiU in use, may be heard in pseudo concert from 
the guardroom over the chief gate of the citadel, at Kotah ; 
while the “ orange flag,” the gift of Jahangir to Rao Ratan, 
around which many a brave Hara has breathed his last, is now 
used by the junior house in all processions or battles. 

To recover these ensigns of fallen dignity, many a stratagem 
has been tried. False keys of the city gates of Kotah and its 
citadel had been procured, and its guards won over by bribery to 
favour admission ; but an unceasing vigilance defeated the plan 
when on the brink of execution : since which the gates of Kotah 
are always closed at sunset, and never opened even to the prince. 
This custom has been attended with great inconvenience ; of 
which the following anecdote affords an instance. ^Mien Raja 
Durjan after his defeat reached Kotah at midnight, with a few 
attendants, he called aloud to the sentinel for admittance ; but the 
orders of the latter were peremptory and allowed of no discretion. 
The soldier desired the Raja to be gone ; upon which, expostula- 
tion being vain, he revealed himself as the prince. At this the 
soldier laughed [511] ; but, tired of importunity, bade his 
sovereign “ go to hell,” levelled his match-lock, and refused to 
call the oflScer on guard. The prince retired, and passed the night 
in a temple close at hand. At daybreak the gates were opened, 
and the soldiers were laughing at their comrade’s story of the 
night, when the Raja appeared. All were surprised, but most of 
all the sentinel, who, taking his sword and shield, placed them 
at his sovereign’s feet, and in a manly but respectful attitude 
awaited his decision. The prince raised him, and praising his 



1528 ANNALS OP HARAVATI : KOTAH 

fidelity, bestowed the dress he then wore upon him, besides a gift 
of money. 

The Kara chronicler states, that Raja Bhim’s person was 
seamed with sears, and so fastidious was he, through the fear of 
incurring the imputation of vanity, that he never undressed in 
presence of his attendants. Nor was it till his death-wound at 
Kurwai that this singularity was explained, on one of his con- 
fidential servants expressing his surprise at the numerous scars ; 
which brought this characteristic reply : “ He who is born to 
govern Haras, and desires to preserve his land, must expect to 
get these : the proper post for a Rajput prince is ever at the head 
of his vassals.” 

Raja Bhim was the first prince of Kotah who had the dignity 
of Panj-hazari, or ‘ leader of five thousand,’ conferred upon him. 
He was likewise the first of his dynasty who bore the title of 
Maharao, or ‘ Great Prince’ ; a title confirmed though not conferred 
by the paramount sovereign, but by the head of their own princely 
tribes, the Rana of Mewar. Previous to Gopinath of Bundi, 
whose issue are the great feudal chiefs of Haraoti, their titular 
appellation was Apji, which has the same import as herself (or 
rather himself), applied to highland chiefs of Scotland ; but 
when Indarsal went to Udaipur, he procured the title of Maharaja 
for himself and his brothers ; since which Apji has been applied 
to the holders of the secondary fiefs, the Madhani of Kotah. Raja 
Bhim left three sons, Arjun Singh, Shyam Singh, and Durjansal. 

Maharao Arjun Singh, .\.d. 1720-24. — ^Maharao Arjun married 
the sister of Madho Singh, ancestor of Zalim Singh Jhala ; but 
died without issue, after four years’ rule. On his death, there 
arose a civil war respecting the succession, in which the vassals 
were divided. Clan encountered clan in the field of Udaipura, 
when the fate of Shyam Singh was sealed in his blood. It is said, 
the survivor would willingly have given up dominion to have 
restored his brother to life ; that he cursed his ambitious rashness, 
and wept bitterly over the dead body. By these contentions 
the rich districts of Rampura, Bhanpura, and Kalapet, which [512] 
the king had taken from the ancient family and bestowed on Raja 
Bhim, were lost to the Haras, and regained by their ancient 
possessors. 

Maharao Durjansal, a.d. 1724-56. The Maratha Invasion.— 
Durjansal assumed ‘ the rod ’ in S. 1780 (a.d. 1724). His acces- 



JAIPUR CLAIMS TO CONTROL KOTAH 1529 

sion was acknowledged by Muhammad Shah, the last of the 
Timurian kings who deserved the appellation, and at whose court 
the prince of Kotah received the khilat and obtained the boon 
^ of preventing the slaughter of kine in every part of the Jumna 
frequented by his nation. Durjansal succeeded on the eve of an 
eventful period in the annals of his countrj*. It was in his reign 
that the Mahrattas under Bajirao first invaded Hindustan. On 
this memorable occasion, they passed by the Taraj Pass, and 
skirting Ilaraoti on its eastern frontier, performed a service to 
■ Hurjansal, by attacking and presenting to him the castle of 
Nah.argarh, then held by a Musalman chief. It was in S. 1795 ' 
(a.d. 1739) that the first connexion between the Haras and the 
‘ Southrons ’ took place ; and this service of the Peshwa leader 
^ was a return for stores and ammunition necessary for his enter- 
prise. But a few years only elapsed before this friendly act and 
the good understanding it induced were forgotten. 

Jaipur claims to control Kotah. — M^e have recorded, in the 
Annals of Bundi, the attempts of the princes of Amber, who were 
armed with the power of the monarohj', to reduce the chiefs of 
^ Haraoti to the condition of vassals. This policy, originating 
with Jai Singh, was pursued by his successor, who drove the 
gallant Budh Singh into exile, to madness and death, though 
the means by which he effected it ultimately recoiled upon him, 
to his humiliation and destruction. Having, however, driven 
Budh Singh from Bundi, and imposed the condition of homage 
and tribute upon the creature of his installation, he desired to 
inflict his supremacy on Kotah. In this cause, in S. 1800, he 
invited the three great JIahratta leaders, with the Jats under 
Surajmall, when, after a severe conflict at Kotri, the city was 
invested. During three months, every effort was made, but in 
vain ; and after cutting down the trees and destroying the gardens 
* in the environs, they were compelled to decamp, the leader, Jai 
Apa Sindhia,^ leaving one of his hands, which was carried off by 
a cannon-shot. 

1 In this year, when Bajirao invaded Hindustan, passing through Haraoti, 
r Himmat Singh Jhala was Faujdar of Kotah. In that year Sheo Singh, and 
in the succeeding the celebrated Zalim Singh, was bom. 

“ [Jai Aga Sindhia succeeded his father, Ranoji Sindhia. His dates are 
uncertain, but he was probably killed at Nagor in 1759 (Beale, Diet. Oriental 
Biography, s.v. ; lOI, xii. 421 ; Grant Duff, Hist, of the Mahrattas, 270).] 
VOL. ni T 



1530 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


Birth of TSiim Singh. — ^Duijansal was nobly seconded by the 
courage and counsel of the Faujdar, or ‘ commandant of the 
garrison,’ Himmat Singh, a Rajput of the Jhala tribe. It was 
through Himmat Singh that the negotiations were carried on, 
which added Nahargarh to Kotah ; and to him were confided ' 
those in which Kotah was compelled to follow the [513] general 
denationalization, and become subservient to the Mahrattas. 
Between these two events, S. 1795 and S. 1800, Zalim Singh was 
bom, a name of such celebrity that his biography would embrace 
all that remains to be told of the history of the Haras. 

When Isari Singh was foiled, the brave Durjansal lent his 
assistance to replace the exiled Ummeda on the throne which 
his father had lost. But without Holkar’s aid, this would have 
been vain ; and, in S. 1805 (a.d. 1749), the year of Ummeda’s 
restoration, Kotah was compelled to become tributary to the 
Mahrattas. 

Death and Character of Durjansal. — ^Durjansal added several 
places to his dominions. He took Phul-Barod from the Khichis, 
and attempted the fortress of Gugor, wliich was bravely defended 
by Balbhaddar in person, who created a league against the Hara 
composed of the chiefs of Rampura, Sheopur, and Bundi. The 
standard of Kotah was preserved from falling into the hands of 
the Khichis by the gallantry of Ummeda Singh of Bimdi. The 
battle between the rival clans, both of Chauhan blood, was in 
S. 1810 ; and in three years more, Durjansal departed this life. 
He was a valiant prince, and possessed aU the qualities of which 
the Rajput is enamoured ; affability, generosity, and. bravery. 
He was devoted to field-sports, especially the royal one of tiger- 
hunting ; and had ramnas or preserves in every corner of Iris 
dominions (some of immense extent, with ditches and palisadoes, 
and sometimes circumvallations), in all of which he erected 
hunting-seats. 

In these expeditions, which resembled preparations for war, he 
invariably carried the queens. These Amazonian ladies were 
taught the use of the matchlock, and being placed upon the 
terraced roofs of the hunting-seats, sent their shots at the forest- 
lord, when driven past their stand by the hunters. On one of 
these occasions the Jhala Faujdar was at the foot of the scaffold- 
ing ; the tiger, infuriated with the uproar, approached him open- 
mouthed ; but the prince had not yet given the word, and none 





MAHARAOS AJlT SINGH : CHHATTARSAL 1581 


dared to fire without his signal. The animal eyed his victim, 
and was on the point of springing, when the Jhala advanced his 
shield, sprung upon him, and writh one blow of his sword laid him 
dead at his feet. The act was applauded by the prince and his 
court, and contributed not a little to the character he had already 
attained. 

Durjansal left no issue. He was married to a daughter of the 
Rana of Mewar. Being often disappointed, and at length despair- 
ing of an heir, about three years before his death, he told the 
Rani it was time to think of adopting an heir to flU the gaddi, 
“ for it was evident that the Almighty disapproved of the usurpa- 
tion which changed the order of succession.” It wUl be re- 
membered that Bishan Singh, son of Ram Singh [514], was set 
aside for refusing, in compliance with maternal fears, to accom- 
pany his father in the wars of the Deccan. When dispossessed 
of his birthright, he was established in the flef of Antha on the 
Chambal.^ At the death of Durjansal, Ajit Singh, grandson of 
the disinherited prince, was lord of Antha, but he was in extreme 
old age. He had three sons, and the eldest, whose name of 
Chhattarsal revived ancient associations, was formally “ placed 
in the lap of the Rani Mewari ; the asis (blessing) was given ; he 
was taught the names of his ancestors (being no longer regarded 
as the son of Ajit of Antha), Chhattar Singh, son of Durjansal, 
Bhimsinghgot, Ram Singh, Kishor Singh, etc., etc.,” and so on, 
to the fountain-head, Dewa Banga, and thence to Manikrae of 
Ajmer. Though the adoption was proclaimed, and aU looked 
to Chhattarsal as the futme lord of the Haras of Kotah, yet on 
the death of Diujan, the Jhala Faujdar took upon him to make 
an alteration in this imjjortant act, and he had power enough to 
effect it. 

Maharao Ajit Singh, a.d. 1756-59. Haharao Chhattars^ 
A.D. 1759-66. — ^The old chief of Antha was yet aUve, and the 
Faujdar said, “ It was contrary to nature that the son should 
rule and the father obey ” ; but doubtless other motives mingled 
with his piety, in which, besides self-interest, may have been a 
consciousness of the dangers inseparable from a minority. The 
otily difficulty was to obtain the consent of the chief himself 
then “ fourscore years and upwards,” to abandon his f>eaceful 
castle on the Kali Sind for the cares of government. But the 
[Antha is not on the Chambal ; it is about 25 miles E, of Kotah city.] 



1532 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


Faujdar prevailed ; old Ajit was crowned, and survived his 
exaltation two years and a half. Ajit left three sons, Chhattarsal, 
Guman Singh, and Raj Singh. Chhattarsal was proclaimed the 
Maharao of the Haras. The celebrated Himmat Singh Jhala 
died before his accession, and his office of Faujdar was conferred 
upon his nephew, Zalim Singh. 

At this epoch, Madho Singh, who had acceded to the throne 
of .\mber on the suicide of his predecessor. Isari, instead of taking 
warning by example, prepared to put forth all his strength for 
the revival of those tributary claims upon the Haras, which had 
cost his brother his life. The contest was between Rajput and 
Rajput ; the question at issue was supremacy on the one hand, 
and subserviency on the other, the sole plea for which was that 
the Kotah contingent had acted under the princes of Amber, 
when lieutenants of the empire. But the Haras held in utter 
scorn the attempt to compel this service in their individual 
capacity, in which they only recognized them as equals. 

Jaipur attacks Kotah. — It was in S. 1817 (a.d. 1761) that the 
prince of .\mber assembled all his clans to force the Haras to 
Acknowledge themselves tributaries. The invasion of the Abdali ’• 
[515], which humbled the Mahrattas and put a stop to their 
pretensions to universal sovereignty, left the Rajputs to them- 
selves. Madho Singh, in his march to Haraoti, assaulted Uniara, 
and added it to his territory. Thence he proceeded to Lakheri, 
which he took, driving out the crestfallen Southrons. Em- 
boldened by this success, he crossed at the Pali Ghat, the point 
of confluence of the Par and the Chambal. The Hara chieftain 
of Sultanpur, whose duty was the defence of the ford, was taken 
by surprise ; but, like a true Hara, he gathered his kinsmen 
outside his castle, and gave battle to the host. He made amends 
for his supineness, and bartered his life for his honour. It was 
remarked by the invaders, that, as he fell, his clenched hand 
grasped the earth, which afforded merriment to some, but serious 
reflection to those who knew the tribe, and who converted it into 
an omen “ that even in death the Hara would cling to his land.” 
The victors, flushed with this fresh success, proceeded through 
the heart of Kotah until they reached Bhatwara,^ where they 

1 [Ahmad Shah Durrani defeated the Marathas at Panipat, 7th January 
1761.] 

“ [Near Mangrol, about 40 miles N.E. of Kotah city.] 



BATTLE OF BHATWARA 


1533 


found five thousand Haras, ek bap ka beta, all ‘ children of one 
father,’ drawn up to oppose them. The numerical odds were 
fearful against Kotah ; but the latter were defending their altars 
and their honour. The battle commenced with a desperate 
charge of the whole Kachhwaha horse, far more numerous than 
the brave legion of Kotah ; but, too confident of success, they 
had tired their horses ere they joined. It was met by a dense 
mass, with perfect coolness, and the Haras remained unbroken 
by the shock. Fresh numbers came up ; the infantry joined the 
cavalry, and the battle became desperate and bloody. It was 
at this moment that Zalim Singh made his debut. He was then 
twenty-one years of age, and had already, as the adopted son of 
Himmat Singh, “ tied his turban on his head,” and succeeded to 
his post of Faujdar. tVliile the battle was raging, Zahm dis- 
moimted, and at the head of his quota, fought on foot, and at 
the most critical moment obtained the merit of the victory, by 
the flurst display of that sagacity for which he has been so remark- 
able throughout lus life [316j. 

Malhar Rao Holkar was encamped in their vicinity, with the 
remnant of his horde, but so crestfallen since the fatal day of 
Panipat,'- that he feared to side with either. At this moment 
yoiing Zalim, mounting his steed, galloped to the Mahratta, and 
implored him, if he would not fight, to move round and plunder 
the Jaipur camp : a hint which needed no repetition. 

The little impression yet made on the Kotah band only required 
the report that “ the camp was assaulted,” to convert the luke- 
warm coinage of their antagonists into panic and flight : ” the 
host of Jaipur fled, while the sword of the Hara performed iiraih 
(pilgrimage) in rivers of blood.” 

The chiefs of Macheri, of Isarda, Watka, Barol, Achrol, with 
' all the ots and awats of Amber, turned their backs on five thousand 
Haras of Kotah ; for the Bundi troops, though assembled, did 
not join, and lost the golden opportunity to free its Kothris, or 
fiefs, from the tribute. Many prisoners were taken, and the five- 
coloured bamier of Amber fell into the hands of the Haras, whose 
bard was not slow to turn the incident to account in the stanza, 
stiU repeated whenever he celebrates the victory of Bhatwara, 
and in which the star {taro) of Zalim prevailed : 

^ It IS singular enough, that Zalim Singh was horn in the year of Kadir 
Shah’s invasion, and made his poUtieal entree in that of the Abdali. 



1534 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; KOTAH 


Jar^ Bhatwdrd jit 
Tdrd Jdlim Jhdld. 

Ring ek rang chit, 

Chddyo rang pach-rang ke^ 

“ In the battle of Bhatwara, the star of Zalim was triumphant. 
In that field of strife (ringa) but one colour (rang) covered tiJat 
of the five-coloured (panch-ranga) banner ” : meaning that the 
Amber standard was dyed in blood. 

The battle of Bhatwara decided the question of tribute, nor 
has the Kachhwaha since this day dared to advance the question 
of supremacy, which, as lieutenant of the empire, he desired to 
transfer to himself. In derision of this claim, ever since the day 
of Bhatwara, when the Haras assemble at their Champ de Mars 
to celebrate the annual military festival, they make a mock 
castle of Amber, which is demolished amidst shouts of applause.^ 
Chhattarsal sui^ived his elevation and this success but a few 
years ; and as he died without offspring, he was succeeded by 
his brother [517]. 


CHAPTER 6 

Maharao Guman Singh, a.d. 1766-71.— Guman Singh, in 
S. 1822 (a.d. 1766), ascended the gaddi of his ancestors. He was 
in the prime of manhood, full of vigour and intellect, and well 
calculated to contend with the tempests collecting from the 
south, ready to pour on the devoted lands of Rajputana. But 
one short lustrum of rule was all that fate had ordained for him, 
when he was compelled to resign his rod of power into the hands 
of an infant. But ere we reach this period, we must retrace our 
steps, and introduce more prominently the individual whose 
biography is the futute history of this State ; for Zalim Singh is 
Kotah, his name being not only indissolubly linked with hers 
in every page of her existence, but incorporated with that of 
every State of Rajputana for more than half a century. He was 
the pnmum mobile of the region he inhabited, a sphere far too 

‘ [Br. Tessitori, whose version has been followed, writes : “ The second 
line is quite wrong, and I should not be surprised if it was made up by Col. 
Tod’s Pandit. I believe there was some other word in place of tard ”1 
[See Vols. II. p. 1199, III. p. 1471.] 



ZALIM SINGH JHALA 


1535 


confined for his genius, which required a wider field for its display, 
and might have controlled the destinies of nations. 

Zalim Singh Jbala. — Zalim Singh is a Rajput of the Jhala 
tribe. He was born in S. 1796 (a.d. 1740), an ever memorable 
epoch (as already observed) in the history of India, when the 
victorious Nadir Shah led his hordes into her fertile soil, and gave 
the finishing blow to the dynasty of Timur. But for this event, 
its existence might have been protracted, though its recovery was 
hopeless : the principle of decay had been generated by the 
policy of Aurangzeb. Muhammad Shah was at this time emperor 
of India,^ and the valiant Durjansal sat on the throne of Kotah. 
From this period (a.d. 1740) five princes have passed away and 
a sixth has been enthroned ; and, albeit one of these reigns 
endured for half a century, Zalim Singh has outlived them aU,^ 
and though blind, his [518] moral perceptions are as acute as on 
the day of Bhatwara. What a chain of events does not this 
protracted life embrace ! An empire then dazzling in glory, and 
now mouldering in the dust. At its opening, the highest noble 
of Britain would have stood at a reverential distance from the 
throne of Timur, in the attitude of a suppliant, and now— 

None so poor 
To do him reverence. 

To do anything like justice to the biography of one who for 
so long a period was a prominent actor in the scene, is utterly 
impossible ; this consideration, however, need not prevent our 
attempting a sketch of this consummate politician, who can 
scarcely find a parallel in the varied page of history. 

The ancestors of Zalim Singh were petty chieftains of Halwad,® 
in the district of Jhalawar, a subdivision of the Saurashtra 
peninsula. Bhao Singh was a younger son of this family, who, 
with a few adherents, left the paternal roof to seek fortune 
amongst the numerous conflicting armies that ranged India 
during the contests for supremacy amongst the sons of Aurangzeb. 
His son, Madho Singh, came to Kotah when Raja Bhim was in the 
zenith of his power. Although he had only twenty-five horse 

* [The Empire was now breaking up, and his dominions were gradually 
reduced to the region held by the later Tughlak dynasty.] 

^ This was written in A.i>. 1821, when Maharao Kishor Singh [died 1828] 
succeeded. 

® [Formerly capital of Dhrangadhra State in Kathiawar {lOl, xiii. 13).] 



1536 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


in his train, it is a proof of the respectability of the Jhala, that 
the prince disdained not his alliance, and even married his son, 
Arjun, to the young adventurer’s sister. Not long after, the 
estate of Nanta was entailed upon Mm, with the confidential 
post of Faujdar, which includes not only the command of the 
troops, but that of the castle, the residence of the sovereign. 
TMs family connexion gave an interest to his authority, and 
procured him the respectful title of Mama,^ from the yoimger 
branches of the prince’s family, an epithet which habit has 
continued to his successors, who are always addressed Mama 
Sahib, ‘ Sir, Uncle ! ’ Jladan Singh succeeded his father in the 
office of Faujdar. He had two sons, Himmat Singh and PritM 
Singh. 

Bhao Singh, left Hahvad with twenty-five horse. 

Madho Singh. 

I 

Madan Singh. 


Himmat Singh. Prithi Singh. 


Slieo Singh, Zalim Singh, 

born in S. 1795. born S. 1796. 

Madho Singh, 
present regent. 

I 

Bapa Lall, 

twenty-one years of age [519J. 

The office of Faujdar, wliich, like all those of the east, had 
become hereditary, was advantageously filled by Himmat Singh, 
whose bravery and skill were conspicuous on many trying emer- 
gencies. He directed, or at least seconded, the defence of Kotah, 
when first assailed by the combined Mahratta and Jaipur troops,’ 
and conducted the treaty which made her tributary to the former! 
till at length so identified was Ms influence with that of the Haras, 
that with their concurrence he restored the ancient line of succes- 
sion. Though neither the prince, Durjansal, nor Ms Major 
Homo, had much merit in tMs act, it was made available by 
Zalim Singh in support of Ms pretensions to power, and m proof 

^ Mama is ‘ maternal uncle ’ ; Kaka, ‘ paternal uncle.’ 


ZALIM SINGH RETIRES TO MEWAR 


1537 


of the ingratitude of his sovereign, “ whose ancestors recovered 
their rights at the instigation of his own.” But ZaUm Singh had 
no occasion to go back to the virtues of his ancestors for an 
argument on which to base his own claims to authority.' He 
could point to the field of Bhatwara, where his bravery and skill 
mainly aided to vanquish the enemies of Kotah, and to crush for 
ever those arrogant pretensions to supremacy which the Jaipur 
State strained every nerve to establish. 

Zalim Singh retires to Mewar. — It was not long after the 
accession of Guman Singh to the sceptre of the Haras, that the 
brave and handsome Major Domo, having dared to cross his 
master’s path in love, lost his favour, and the office of Faujdar, 
which he had attained in his twenty-first year. It is probable 
he evinced little contrition for his offence, for the confiscation of 
Nanta soon followed. This estate, on the west bank of the 
Chambal, still enjoyed as a fief in perpetuity by the Jhala family, 
was the original appanage of the Kotah State when a yoimger 
branch of Bundi. From hence may be inferred the consideration 
in wliich the Jliala ancestor of our subject was held, which con- 
ferred upon him the heirloom of the house. Both the office and 
the estate thereto attached, thus resumed, were bestowed upon 
the maternal uncle of the prince, Bhopat Singh, of the Bhangrot 
tribe. By this step, the door of reconciliation being closed 
against the young Jhala, he determined to abandon the scene of 
his disgrace, and court fortune elsewhere. He was not long in 
determining the path he should pursue : Amber was shut against 
him, and IVIfrwar held out no field for his ambition. Mewar was 
at hand, and a chief of his own tribe and nation then ruled the 
councils ol- Rana Arsi, who had lately succeeded to power, but a 
power paralysed by faction and by a pretender to the throne. 
The Jhala chieftain of Delwara, one of the sixteen great barons 
of Mewar, had headed the party which placed his sovereign on 
the tlirone ; and he felt no desire to part with the influence 
which this service gave him. He entertained [520] foreign 
guards about the person of his prince, and distributed estates at 
pleasure among those who supported his measures ; whUe from 
the crorvn domain, or from the estates of those who were hostile 
to his influence, he seized upon lands, which doubled his posses- 
sions. Such was the court of Rana Arsi, when the ex-Major 
Domo of Kotah came to seek a new master. His reputation at 



1538 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


once secured him a reception, and his talents for finesse, already 
developed, made the Rana confide to him the subjection in which 
he was held by his own vassal-subject.. It was then that Zalim, 
a youth and a stranger, showed that rare union of intrepidity 
and caution wliich has made him the wonder of the age. By a 
most daring plan, which cost the Delwara chief his life, in open 
day and surrounded by attendants, the Rana was released from 
this odious tutelage. For this service, the title of Raj Rana’^ and 
the estate of Chitarkliera on the southern frontier were conferred 
upon Zalim, who was now a noble of the second rank in Mewar. 
The rebellion still continued, however, and the pretender and 
his faction sought the aid of the Mahrattas ; but under the 
vigorous coimcils of Zalim, seconded by the spirit of the Rana, 
an army was collected which gave battle to the combined rebels 
and Malu-attas. The result of this day has already been related.^ 
The Rana was discomfited and lost the flower of his nobles when 
victory was almost assured to them, and Zahm was left wounded 
and a prisoner in the field. He fell into the hands of Trimbakrao, 
the father of the celebrated Ambaji Inglia, and the friendship 
then formed materially governed the future aetions of his fife. 

Zalim Singh returns to Kotah.— The loss of this battle left 
the Rana and Mewar at the mercy of the conqueror. Udaipur 
was invested, and capitulated, after a noble defence, upon terms 
which perpetuated her thraldom. Zahm, too wise to cling to the 
fortunes of a faUing house, instead of returning to Udaipur, bent 
his steps to Kotah, in company with the Pandit, Lalaji Balal, 
the faithful partaker of his futitte fortimes. Zalim foresaw the 
storm about to spread over Rajwara, and deemed liimself equal 
to guide and avert it from Kotah, while the political levity of 
Mewar gave him little hopes of success at that court. 

Raja Guman, however, had neither forgotten nor forgiven 
his competitor, and refused to receive him : but in no wise daunted, 
he trusted to his address, and thrust himself unbidden on the 
prince. The moment he chose proved favourable ; and he was 
not only pardoned, but employed [521]. 

Gallant Death of Madho Singh. — The Mahrattas had now 
reached the southern frontier, and invested the castle of Bakhani,® 

^ Not Bana. which he puts upon his seal. 

2 See Vol. I. p. 500. 

“ [About 60 miles S. of Kotah city.] 



ZALIM SINGH GUARDIAN OF THE HEIR 1539 


which was defended by four hundred Haras of the Sawant clan,* 
under its chief, Madho Singh. The enemy had been foiled in 
repeated attempts to escalade, and it furnishes a good idea of the 
inadequate means of the ‘ Southrons ’ for the operations of a siege, 
when their besieging apparatus was confined to an elephant, 
whose head was the substitute for a petard, to burst open the gate. 
Repeated instances, however, prove that this noble animal is 
fully equal to the task, and would have succeeded on this occasion, 
had not the intrepidity of the Hara chieftain prompted one of 
those desperate exploits which fill the pages of their annals. 
Armed with his dagger, Madho Sirigh leaped from the walls upon 
the back of the elephant, stabbed the rider, and with repeated 
blows feUed the animal to the earth. That he should escape 
could not be expected ; but his death and the noble deed kindled 
such enthusiasm, that his clan threw wide the gate, and rushing 
sword in hand amidst the multitude, perished to a man. But 
they died not unavenged : thirteen hundred of the bravest of the 
Mahrattas accompanied them to Suryaloka, the warrior’s heaven. 
The invaders continued their inroad, and invested Sohet : but 
the prince sent his commands to the garrison to preserve their 
lives for Kotah, and not again sacrifice them, as the point of 
honotir had been nobly maintained. Accordingly, at midnight, 
they evacuated the place ; but whether from accident or treachery, 
the grass jungle which covered their retreat was set fire to, and 
cast so resplendent a light, that the brave garrison had to fight 
their way against desperate odds, and many were slain. Malharrao 
Holkar, who had been greatly disheartened at the loss sustained 
at Bakhani, was revived at tliis success, and prepared to follow 
it up. Raja Guman deemed it advisable to try negotiation, and 
the Bhangrot Faujdar was sent with full powers to treat with 
the Mahratta commander ; but he failed and returned. 

Zalim Singh appointed Guardian of the Heir. — Such was the 
moment chosen by young Zalim to force himself into the presence 
of his offended prince. In aU probability he mentioned the day 
at Bhatwara, where by his courage, and stUl more by his tact, he 
released Kotah from the degradation of being subordinate to 
Amber ; and that it was by his influence with the same Malharrao 
Holkar, who now threatened Kotah, he was enabled to succeed. 

* The reader is requested to refer to p. 1483, for evidence of the loyalty 
and heroism of Sawant Hara, the founder of this clan. 


1540 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


lie was invested with full powers ; the negotiation was renewed, 
and terminated successfully : for the siun of six lakhs of rupees 
the Mahratta leader withdrew his horde from the territory of 
Kotah. His [522] prince’s favour was regained, his estate re- 
stored, and the unsuccessful negotiator lost the office of Faujdar, 
into which young Zalim was reinducted. But scarcely had he 
recovered his rights, before Giunan Singh was taken grievously 
ill, and aU hopes of his life were relinquished. To whom could 
the dying prince look at such a moment, as guardian of his infant 
son, but the person whose skill had tuice saved the State from 
peril ■? He accordingly proclaimed his will to his chiefs, and 
with aU due solemnity placed Ummed Singh, then ten years of 
age, ‘ in the lap ’ of Zalim Singh. 

Maharao Ummed Singh, a.u. 1771-1819. — Ummed Singh was 
proclaimed in S. 1827 (a.d. 1771). On the day of inauguration, 
the ancient Rajput custom of the tika-daur was revived, and the 
conquest of Kelwara * from the house of Narwar marked with 
eclat the accession of the Maharao of the Haras of Kotah, and 
gave early indication that the genius of the regent would not 
sleep in his office of protector. More than half a century of rule, 
amidst the most appalling vicissitudes, has amply confirmed the 
prognostication. * 

The retention of a power thus acquired, it may be concluded, 
could never be effected without severity, nor the ^dgorous 
authority, wielded throughout a period beyond the ordinary 
limits of mortality, be sustained without something more potent 
than persuasion. Still, when we consider Zahm’s perilous predica- 
ment, and the motives to perpetual reaction, his acts of severity are 
fewer than might have been expected, or than occur in the course 
of usurpation under similar circumstances. Mature reflection 
initiated all his measures, and the sagacity of their conception 
was only equalled by the rapidity of their execution. Whether 
the end in \dew was good or evil, nothing was ever half-done ; 
no spark was left to excite future conflagration. Even this excess 
of severity was an advantage ; it restrained the repetition of 
what, whether morally right or wrong, he was determined not to 
tolerate. To pass a correct judgment on these acts is most 
difficult. AVhat in one case was a measme of barbarous severity, 
appears in another to have been one indispensable to the welfare 
^ [About 70 miles E. of Kotah city.] 



ZALIM SINGH REGENT OF KOTAH 


1511 


of the State. But this is not the place to discuss the character 
or principles of the regent ; let us endeavour to unfold both in 
the exhibition of those acts which have carried him through the 
most tempestuous sea of political convulsion in the whole history 
of India. When nought but revolution and rapine stalked through 
the land, when State after State was crumbling into dust, or sinking 
into the abyss of ruin, he guided the vessel entrusted to his care 
safely through aU dangers, adding yearly to her riches, imtil he 
placed her in security under the protection of Britain [523]. 

Zalim Singh Regent of Eotah. — Scarcely had Zalim assumed 
the protectorate, when he was compelled to make trial of those 
Machiavellian powers which have never deserted liim, in order 
to baffle the schemes devised to oppose him. The duties of 
Faujdar, to which he had hitherto been restricted, were entirely 
' of a military nature ; though, as it involved the charge of the 
castle, in which the sovereign resided, it brought him in contact 
with his councils. This, however, afforded no plea for inter- 
ference in the Diwani, or civil duties of the government, in which, 
ever since his own accession to power, he had a coadjutor in Rae 
Akhairam, a man of splendid talents, and who had been Diwan 
or prime minister throughout the reign of Chhattarsal and the 
greater part of that of his successor. To his counsel is mainly 
ascribed the advantages gained by Kotah throughout these reigns ; 
yet did he fall a sacrifice to jealousies a short time before the death 
of his prince, Guman Singh. It is not affirmed that they were 
the suggestions of young Zalim ; but Akhairam’s death left him 
. fewer competitors to dispute the junction in his own person of 
the civil as well as military authority of the State. StiU he had 
no slight opposition to overcome, in the very opening of his career. 
The party which opposed the pretensions of Zalim Singh to act 
as regent of the State, asserting that no such power had been 
; bequeathed by the dying prince, consisted of his cousin, the 
Maharaja Sarup Singh, and the Bhangrot chief, whose disgrace 
brought Zalim into power. There was, besides, the Dhabhai 
Jaskaran, foster-brother to the prince, a man of talent and credit, 
whose post, being immediately about his person, afforded oppor- 
y tunities for carrjdng their schemes into e^ect. 

Murder of Sarup Singh. — Such was the powerful opposition 
arrayed against the protector in the verjT commencement of his 
career. The conspiracy was hardly formed, however, before it 



1542 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


was extinguished by the murder of the Maharaja by the hands of 
the Dhabhai, the banishment of the assassin, and the flight of 
the Bhangrot. The rapidity with which this drama was enacted 
struck terror into all. The gaining over the foster-brother, the 
making liim the instrument of punishment, and banishing him 
for the crime, acted like a spell, and appeared such a masterpiece 
of daring and subtilty combined, that no one thought himself 
secure. There had been no cause of discontent between the 
Maharaja and the Dhabhai, to prompt revenge ; yet did the 
latter, in tlie glare of open day, rush upon him in the garden of 
Brajvilas,'^ and with a blow of his scimitar end his days. The 
regent was the loudest in execrating the-author of the crime, whom 
he instantly seized and confined, and soon after expelled from 
Haraoti. But however well acted, this dissimulation passed not 
with the world ; and, whether innocent or guilty, they lay to 
Zalim’s charge the plot for the murder of the Maharaja. The 
Dhabhai died in exile and contempt at [524] Jaipur ; and in 
abandoning him to his fate without provision, Zalim, if guilty of 
the deed, showed at once his knowledge and contempt of mankind. 
Had he added another murder to the first, and in the fury of an 
affected indignation become the sole depository of his secret, he 
would only have increased the suspicion of the world ; but in 
turning the culprit loose on society to proclaim his participation 
in the crime, he neutralized the reproach by destroying the 
credibility of one who was a self-convicted assassin when he had 
it in his power to check its circulation. In order to unravel this 
tortuous policy, it is necessary to state that the Dhabhai was 
seduced from the league by the persuasion of the regent, who 
insinuated that the Maharaja formed plans inimical to the safety 
of the young prince, and that his own elevation was the true 
object of his hostility to the person entrusted with the charge of 
the minor sovereign. Whatever truth there might be in this, 
which might be pleaded in justification of the foul crime, it was 
attended with the consequences he expected. Immediately after, 
the remaining member of the adverse junta withdrew, and at the 
same time many of the nobles abandoned their estates and their 
country. Zalim eviiice4 his contempt of their means of resistance 
by granting them free egress from the kingdom, and determined 

' [Brajvilas, the ‘garden of enjoyment,’ like that in which Krishna 
sported with the Gopis in the land of Braj or Mathura.] 



ZALIM SINGH ESTABLISHES HIS AUTHORITY 1543 


to turn their retreat to account. They went to Jaipur and to 
Jodhpur ; hut troubles prevailed everywhere ; the princes could 
with difficulty keep the prowling Mahratta from their own doors, 
and possessed neither funds nor inclination to enter into foreign 
quarrels for objects which would only increase their already 
superabundant difficulties. The event turned out as Zalim 
anticipated ; and the princes, to whom the refugees were suitors, 
had a legitimate excuse in the representations'of the regent, who 
described them as rebels to their sovereign and parties to designs 
hostile to his rule. Some died abroad, and some, sick of wander- 
ing in a foreign land dependent on its bounty, solicited as a boon 
that “ their ashes might be burned with their fathers’.” In 
granting this request, Zalim evinced that reliance on himself, 
which is the leading feature of his character. He permitted their 
return, but received them as traitors who had abandoned their 
prince and their countrj’^, and it was announced to them, as an 
act of clemency, that they were permitted to live upon a part 
of their estates ; which, as they had been voluntarily abandoned, 
were sequestrated and belonged to the crown. 

Zalim Singh’s Triumph over his Opponents. — Such was Zalim 
Singh’s triumph over the first faction formed against his assump- 
tion of the full powers of regent of Kotah. Not only did the 
aristocracy feel humiliated, but were subjugated by the rod of 
iron held over them ; and no opportunity [525] was ever thrown 
away of crushing this formidable body, which in these States too 
often exerts its pernicious influence to the ruin of society. The 
thoughtlessness of character so peculiar to Rajputs, furnished 
abundant opportunities for the mareh of an exterminating policy, 
and, at the same time, afforded reasons which justified it. 

The next combination was more formidable ; it was headed by 
Deo Singh of Aton,’ who enjoyed an estate of sixty thousand 
rupees rent. He strongly fortified his castle, and was joined by 
all the discontented nobles, determined to get rid of the authority 
which crushed them. The regent well knew the spirits he had 
to cope with, and that the power of the State was insufficient. 
By means of ‘ the help of Moses ’ (such is the interpretation of 
Musa Madad, his auxiliary on this occasion), this struggle against 
his authority also only served to confirm it ; and their measures 
recoiled on the heads of the feudality. The condition of society 
’ [About 40 miles S.E. of Kotah city.] 



1544 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


since the dissolution of the imperial power was most adverse to 
the institutions of Rajwara, the unsupported valour of whose 
nobles was no match for the mercenary force which their riders 
could now always command from those bands, belonging to no 
government, but roaming whither they listed over this vast 
region, in search of pay or plunder. The ‘ help of Moses ’ was 
the leader of one of these associations— a name well known in 
the history of that agitated period ; and he not only led a well- 
appointed infantry brigade, but had an efficient park attached 
to it, which was brought to play against Aton. It held out several 
months, the garrison meanwhile making many sallies, which it 
required the constant vigilance of Moses to repress. At length, 
reduced to extremity, they demanded and obtained an honourable 
capitulation, being allowed to retire unmolested whither they 
pleased. Such was the termination of this ill-organized insurrec- 
tion, which involved almost all the feudal chiefs of Kotah in exile 
and ruin, and strengthened the regent, or as he would say, the 
state, by the escheat of the sequestrated property. Deo Singh of 
Aton, the head of this league, died in exile. After several years 
of lamentation in a foreign soil for the janam bhum, the ‘ land of 
their birth,’ the son pleaded for pardon, though his heart denied 
all crime, and was fortunate enough to obtain his recall, and the 
estate of Bamolia, of fifteen thousand rupees rent. The inferior 
members of the opposition were treated with the same con- 
temptuous clemency ; they were admitted into Kotah, but 
deprived of the power of doing mischief. MTiat stronger proof 
of the political courage of the regent can be adduced, than his 
shutting up such combustible materials within the social edifice, 
and even living amongst and with them, as if he deserved their 
friendship rather than their hatred [526]. 

In combating such associations, and thus cementing his power, 
time passed away. His marriage with one of the distant branches 
of the royal house of Mewar, by whom he had his son and successor 
Madho Singh, gave Zalim an additional interest in the affairs of 
that disturbed State, of which he never lost sight amidst the 
troubles which more immediately concerned him. The motives 
which, in S. 1847 (a.d. 1791), made him consider for a time the 
interests of Kotah as secondary to those of Mewar, are related 
at length in the annals of that State ; ^ and the effect of this 
* Vol. I. p. 516. 



ATTE3WPTS TO ASSASSINATE ZALIM SINGH 1545 


policy on the prosjjerity of Kotah, drained of its wealth in the 
prosecution of his views, will appear on considering the details 
of his system. Referring the reader, therefore, to the Annals of 
Mewar, we shall pass from S. 1847 to S. 1856 (a.d. 1800), when 
another attempt was made by the chieftains to throw off the iron 
yoke of the protector. 

Conspiracy against Z^im Singh. — ^Many attempts at assassina- 
tion had been tried, but his vigilance ballied them all ; though 
no bold enterprise was hazarded since the failure of that (in S. 
1833) which ended in the death and exile of its contriver, the 
chieftain of Aton, until the conspiracy of Mohsen, in S. 1856, just 
twenty years ago.* Bahadur Singh, of Mohsen, a chieftain of 
ten thousand rupees’ annual rent, was the head of this plot, which 
included every chief and family whose fortunes had been anni- 
hilated by the exterminating policy of the regent. It was con- 
ducted with admirable secrecy ; if known at all, it was to Zalim 
alone, and not till on the eve of accomplishment. The proscrip- 
tion-list was long ; the regent, his family, his friend and counsellor 
the Pandit Lalaji, were amongst the victims marked for sacrifice. 
The moment for execution was that of his proceeding to hold 
his court, in open day ; and the mode was by a coup de main 
whose very audacity would guarantee success. It is said that 
he was actually in progress to darbar, when the danger was 
revealed. The paegah or ‘ select troop of horse ’ belonging to his 
friend, and always at hand, was immediately called in and added 
to the guards about his person ; thus the conspirators were 
assailed when they deemed the prey rusliing into the snare they 
had laid. The surprise was complete ; many were slain ; some 
were taken, others fled. Amongst the latter was the head of the 
conspiracy. Bahadur Singh, who gained the Chambal, and took 
refuge in the temple of the tutelary deity of the Haras at Patan. 
But he mistook the character of the regent when he supposed 
that either the sanctuary (sarana) of Keshorai,'* or the respect 
due to the prince in whose dominions (Bundi) it lay, could shield 
him from Ids fate. He was dragged forth, and expiated his crime 
or folly with his life [527]. 

According to the apologists of the regent, this act was one of 
just retribution, since it was less to defend himself and his im- 

* This was written at Kotah, in S. 1876 (a.d. 1820), 

- [Kesavarae, Krishna,] 

VOL. in ^ 



1546 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


mediate interests than those of the prince whose power and exist- 
ence were threatened by the insurrection, which had for its object 
his deposal and the elevation of one of his brothers. The members 
of the Maharao’s family at this period were his uncle Raj Singh, 
and his two brothers, Gordhan and Gopal Singh. Since the 
rebellion of Aton, these princes had been under strict surveillance ; 
but after this instance of reaction, in which their names were 
implicated as ha%dng aspired to supplant their brother, a more 
rigorous seclusion was adopted ; and the rest of their days was 
passed in solitary confinement. Gordhan, the elder, died about 
ten years after his incarceration ; the younger, Gopal, lived many 
years longer ; but neither from that day quitted the walls of their 
prison, until death released them from this dreadful bondage. 
Kaka Raj Singh lived to extreme old age ; but, as he took no 
part in these turmoils, he remained unmolested, having the range 
of the temples in the city, beyond which limits he had no wish to 
stray. 

We may in this place introduce a slip from the genealogical 
tree of the forfeited branch of Bishan Singh, but which, in the 
person of his grandson Ajit, regained its rights and the gaddi. 
The fate of this family will serve as a specimen of the policy 
pursued by the regent towards the feudal interests of Kotah. 
It is appalling, when thus marshalled, to \'iew the sacrifices which 
the maintenance of power will demand in these feudal States, 
where individual will is law. 

The plots against the existence and authority of the Protector 
were of every description, and no less than eighteen are enumer- 
ated, which his never-slumbering vigilance detected and baffled. 
The means were force, open and concealed, poison, the dagger — 
until at length he became sick of precaution. “ I could not always 
be on my guard.” he would say. But the most dangerous of all 
was a female conspiracy, got up in the palace, and which discovers 
an amusing mixture of tragedy and farce, although his habitual 
wariness would not have saved him from being its victim, had 
he not been aided by the boldness of a female champion, from a 
regard for the personal attractions of the handsome regent. He 
was suddenly sent for by the queen-mother of one of the young 
princes, and while waiting in an antechamber, expecting every 
instant ‘ the voice behind the curtain,’ he found himself en- 
circled by a band of Amazonian Rajputnis, armed with sword 



ZALIM SINGH’S ADMINISTRATION 


1547 


and dagger, from whom, acquainted as he was with the nerve, 
phj’-sical and moral, of his countrywomen, he saw no hope of 
salvation [528]. Fortunately, they were determined not to be 
satisfied merely with his death, they put him upon his trial ; and 
the train of interrogation into alt the acts of his life was going on, 
when his preserving angel, in the shape of the chief attendant of 
the dowager queen, a woman of masculine strength and courage, 
rushed in, and, with strong dissembled anger, drove him forth 
amidst a torrent of abuse for presuming to be found in such a pre- 
dicament. 

While bathing, and during the heat of the chase, his favourite 
pursuit, similar attempts have been made, but they always 
recoiled on the heads of his enemies. Yet, notwithstanding the 
multitude of these plots, which would have unsettled the reason 
of many, he never allowed a blind suspicion to add to the victims 
of his policy ; and although, for his personal security, he was 
compelled to sleep in an iron cage, he never harboured unnecessary 
alarm, that parent of crime and blood in all usurpations. His 
lynx-like eye saw at once who was likely to invade his authority, 
and these knew their peril from the vigilance of a system which 
never relaxed. Entire self-reliance, a police such as perhaps no 
country in the world could equal, establishments well paid, 
services liberally rewarded, character and talent in each depart- 
ment of the State, himself keeping a strict watch over all, and 
trusting implicitly to none, with a daily personal supervision of 
all this complicated state-machinery — such was the system which 
surmounted every peril, and not only maintained but increased 
the power and political reputation of Zalim Singh, amidst the 
storms of war, rapine, treason, and political convulsions of more 
than half a century’s duration. 


CHAPTER 7 

Legislation of ZaUm Singh. — We are now to examine the 
Protector in another point of view, as the legislator and manager 
of the State whose concerns he was thus determined to rule. 
For a series of years Kotah was but the wet-nurse to the child 
of his ambition, a design upon Mewar [529], which engulfed as in 
a vortex all that oppression could extort from the industry of the 



1548 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; KOTAH 


people confided to his charge. From this first acquaintance 
with the court of the Rana, in S. 1827 to the year 1856, he never 
relinquished the hope of extending the same measure of authority 
over that State which he exerted in his own. To the prosecution 
of this policy Haraoti was sacrificed, and the cultivator lowered 
to the condition of a serf. In the year 1840, oppression was at 
its height ; the impoverished ryot, no longer able to pay the 
extra calls upon his industry, his cattle and the implements of 
his labour distrained, was reduced to despair. Many died from 
distress ; some fled, but where could they find refuge in the 
chaos around them ? The greater part were compelled to plough 
for hire, with the cattle and implements once their own, the very 
fields, their freehold, whieh had been torn from them. From this 
system of universal impoverishment, displayed at length in 
unthatched \dllages and untilled lands, the regent was compelled 
to become farmer-general of Kotah. 

Fortunately for his subjects, and for liis own reputation, his 
sense of gratitude and friendship for the family of Inglia — whose 
head, Bala Rao, was then a prisoner in Mewar — involved him, in 
the attempt to obtain his release, in personal conflict with the 
Rana, and he was compelled to abandon for ever that long- 
cherished object of his ambition. It was then he perceived he 
had sacrificed the welfare of all classes to a phantom, and his 
vigorous understanding suggested a remedy, which was instantly 
adopted. 

Superstition of Z^m Singh. — Until the conspiracy of Mohsen 
in 1856, the regent had resided in the castle, acting the part of 
the IMaire du palais of the old French monarchy ; but on his 
return from the release of Bala Rao, in S. 1860 (a.d. 1803—4), 
when the successes of the British arms disturbed the combination 
of the IMahrattas, and obliged them to send forth their disunited 
bands to seek by rapine wbat they had lost by our conquests, 
the regent perceived the impolicy of such permanent residence, 
and determined to come nearer to the point of danger. He had 
a double motive, each of itself sufficiently powerful to justifv 
the change ; the first was a revision of the revenue system ; the 
other, to seek a more central position for a disposable camp, 
which he might move to any point threatened by these predatory 
bodies. Though these were doubtless the real incentives to the 
project, according to those who ought to have known the secret 



ZALIM SINGH’S PERMANENT CAMP 


1349 


impulse of his mind, the change from the castle on the Chambal 
to the tented field proceeded from no more potent cause than an 
ominous owl [530J, telling his tale to the moon from the pinnacle 
of his mansion. A meeting of the astrologers, and those versed 
in prodigies, was convened, and it was decided that it would be 
tempting hotihar (fate) to abide longer in that dwelling. If this 
were the true motive, Zalim Singh's mind only shared the grovel- 
ling superstition of tlic most illustrious and most courageous of 
his nation, to whom there was no pres-age more appalling than a 
ghugghu on the house-top. But, in all likelihood, this was a 
political owl conjured up for the occasion ; one seen only in the 
mind's eye of the regent, and serving to cloak his plans. 

His Permanent Camp. — The soothsayers having in due form 
desecrated the dwelling of the Protector, he commenced a per- 
ambtilation and survey of the long-neglected territory, within 
which he determined henceforth to limit his ambition. He then 
saw, and perhaps felt for, the miseries his mistaken policy had 
occasioned ; but the moral evil was consummated ; he had 
ruined the fortunes of one-third of the agriculturists, and the 
rest were depressed and heart-broken. The deficiency in his 
revenues spoke a truth no longer to be misinterpreted ; for his 
credit was so low in the mercantile world at this period, that his 
word and his bond were in equal disesteem. Hitherto he had 
shut his ears against complaint ; but funds were necessary to 
fonvard his views, and all pleas of inability were met by confisca- 
tion. It was evident that this c\'il, if not checked, must ulti- 
mately denude the State of the means of defence, and the fertility 
of his genius presented various modes of remedy. He began by 
fixing upon a spot, near the strong fortress of Gagraun, for a 
permanent camp, where he eontinued to reside, with merely a 
shed over his tent ; and although the officers and men of rank 
had also thrown up sheds, he would admit of nothing more. All 
the despatches and newspapers were dated “ from the Chhaoni,” 
or camp. 

The situation selected was most judicious, being nearly equi- 
distant from the two principal entrances to Haraoti from the 
south, and touching the most insubordinate part of the Bhil 
population ; while he W'as close to the strong castles of Shirgarh 
and Gagraun, which he strengthened with the utmost care, 
making the latter the depot of his treasures and his arsenal. 


1550 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


He formed an army ; adopted the European arms and discipline ; 
appointed officers with the title of captain to his battalions, 
which had a regular nomenclature, and his ‘ royals ’ {Raj Paltan) 
have done as gallant service as any that ever bore the name. 
These were ready at a moment’s w'arning to move to any point, 
against any foe. Moreover, by this change, he was extricated 
from many perplexities and delays which a residence in a capital 
necessarily engenders [531]. 

Land Revenue Collections. — Up to this period of liis life, having 
been immersed in the troubled sea of political intrigue, the 
Protector had no better knowledge of the systems of revenue 
and landed economy than other Rangra ^ chieftains ; and he 
followed the immemorial usage termed latiha and batai,^ or rent 
in kind by weight or measure, in proportion to the value of the 
soil or of the product. The regent soon found the disadvantages 
of this system, which afforded opportunity for oppression on the 
part of the collectors, and fraud on that of the tenant, both 
detrimental to the government, and serving only to enrich that 
vulture, the Patel. When this rapacious yet indispensable 
medium between the peasant and ruler leagued with the col- 
lectors — and there was no control to exaction beyond the con- 
science of this constituted attorney of each township, either for 
the assessment or collection — and when, as we have so often 
stated, the regent cared not for the means so that the supplies 
were abundant, nothing but ruin could ensue to the ryot. 

Having made himself master of the complicated details of the 
batai, and sifted every act of chicanery by the most inquisitorial 
process, he convoked all the Patels of the country, and took their 
depositions as to the extent of each pateli, their modes of eollec- 
tion, their credit, character, and individual means ; and being 
thus enabled to form a rough computation of the size and revenues 
of each, he recommenced his tour, made a chakbandi, or measure- 
ment of the lands of each township, and classified them, according 
to soil and fertility, as pmal, or irrigated ; gorma, or good soil, 
but dependent on the heavens ; and mormi, including pasturage 
and mountain-tracts. He then, having formed an average from 
the accounts of many years, instituted a fixed money-rent, and 

1 [See Vol. I. p. 535.] 

- [Lattha, literally a ‘ measuring pole ’ ; batai, division of crop between 
landlord and tenant.] 



LAND POLICY OF ZALM SINGH 


1551 


declared -that the balai system, or that of payment in kind, was 
at an end. But even in this he showed severity ; for he reduced 
the jarib,^ or standard measure, by a third, and added a fourth 
to his averages. Doubtless he argued that the profit which the 
Patels looked forward to would admit of this increase, and deter- 
mined that his vigilance should be more than a match for their 
ingenuity. 

Having thus adjusted the rents of the fisc, the dues of the 
Patel were fixed at one and a half annas per bigha, on all the lands 
constituting a pateli ; and as his personal lands were on a favoured 
footing and paid a much smaller rate than the ryot’s, he was led 
to understand that any exaction beyond what was authorized 
would subject him to confiscation. Thus the dues on collection 
would realize to the Patel from live to fifteen thousand rupees 
annually. The anxiety of these men to be reinstated in their 
trusts [532] was evinced by the immense offers they made, of ten, 
twenty, and even fifty thousand rupees. At one stroke he put 
ten lakhs, or £100,000 sterling, into his exhausted treasury, by 
the amount of nazaranas, or fines of relief on their reinduction 
into olflee. The rj’ot hoped for better days ; for notwithstanding 
the assessment was heavy, he saw the limit of exaction, and that 
the door was closed to all subordinate oppression. Besides the 
spur of hope, he had that of fear, to quicken his exertions ; for 
with the promulgation of the edict substituting money-rent for 
batai, the ryot was given to understand that ‘ no account of the 
seasons’ would alter or lessen the established dues of the State, 
and that rmcultivated lands would be made over by the Patel to 
those who would cultivate them ; or if none would take them, 
they would be incorporated with the klias or personal farms of 
the regent. In aU cases the Patels were declared responsible 
for deficiencies of revenue. 

Hitherto this body of men had an incentive, if not a hcence, 
to plunder, being subject to an annual or triennial tax termed 
patel-barar. This was aimulled ; and it was added, that if they 
f ulfill ed their contract with the State without oppressing the 
subject, they should be protected and honoured. Thus these 
Patels, the elected representatives of the village and the shields 

^ [Xn the United Provinces the jarib is 55 yards, and one square jarib = 
1 bigha. The standard bigha is five-eighths of an acre (Wilson, Glossary of 
Indian Terms, s.r.).] 



1552 


ANNALS OF IIARAVATI : KOTAll 


of the ryot, became. the direct officers of the crown. It was the 
regent’s interest to conciliate a body of men on whose exertions 
the prosperity of the State mainly depended ; and they gladly 
and unanimously entered into his views. Golden bracelets and 
turbans, the signs of inauguration, w'ere given, with a “ grant 
of office," to each Patel, and they departed to their several 
trusts. 

Possibility of Representative Government.— A few reflections 
obtrude themselves on the contemplation of such a picture. It 
will hardly fail to strike the reader, how perfect are the elements 
for the formation of a representative government in these regions ; ^ 
for every State of Rajwara is similarly constituted ; ex uno disce 
omnes. The Patels would only require to be joined by the repre- 
sentatives of the coniinereial body, and these are already formed, 
of Rajput blood, defleient neither in nerve nor political sagacity, 
compared with any class on earth ; often composing the ministry, 
or heading the armies in battle. It is needless to push the parallel 
farther ; but if it is the desire of Britain to promote this system 
in the east to enthrone liberty on the ruins of bondage, and call 
forth the energies of a grand national Panehayat, the materials 
are ample without the risk of innovation beyond the mere extent 
of members. We should have the aristocratic Thakurs (the 
Rajput barons), the men of wealth, and the representatives of 
agriculture, to [533] settle the limits and maintain the principles 
of their ancient patriarchal system. A code of criminal and chdl 
law, perfectly adequate, could be compiled from their sacred 
books, their records on stone, or traditional customs, and sufficient 
might be deducted from the revenues of the State to maintain 
municipal forces, which could unite if public safety were en- 
dangered, while the equestrian order would furnish all State 
parade, and act as a movable army. 

A Revenue Board. — But to return to our subject. Out of this 
numerous body of Patels, Zalim selected four of the most intelli- 
gent and experienced, of whom he formed a council attached to 
the Presence. At first their duties were confined to matters of 
revenue ; soon those of police were superadded, and at length 
no matter of internal regulation W'as transacted without their 
advice. In aU cases of doubtful decision they were the court of 

^ [On the prospects of representative government in Rajputana see 
the statement of the Maharaja of Bikaner — The Times, 10th May 1917.] 


THE PATEL : THE BOHRA 


1553 


appeal from provincial panchayats, and even from those of the 
cities and the capital itself. Thus they performed the threefold 
duties of a board of re\ enue, of justice, and of police, and perhaps 
throughout the world there never was a police like that of Zalim 
Singh ; there was not one Fouche, but four ; and a net of espion- 
age was spread over the country, out of whose meshes nothing 
could escape. 

Such Mas the Patel system of Kotah. A system so rigid had 
its alloy of evil ; the veil of secrecy, so essential to commercial 
pursuits, was rudely draM'H aside ; every transaction was exposed 
to the regent, and no man felt safe from the inquisitorial visits of 
the spies of this council. A lucky speculation Mas immediately 
reported, and the regent hastened to share in the success of the 
speculator. Alarm and disgust were the consequence ; the spirit 
of trade was damped ; none were assured of the just returns of 
their industry ; but there was no security elscMhere, and at 
Kotah only the Protector dared to injure them. 

The council of Venice was not more arbitrary than the Patel 
board of Kotah ; even the ministers saw the sword suspended 
over their heads, Mhile they M'ere hated as much as feared by all 
but the individual who recognized their utility. 

It M'ould be imagined that M-ith a council so ^^gilant the regent 
would feel perfectly secure. Not so : he had spies o\-er them. 
In short, to use the phrase of one of his ministers — a man of acute 
perception and poM’erful understanding, when talking of the 
vigour of his mental vision — M'hen his physical organs had failed, 
puni pina, aur mut tolna, M-hich mc will not translate. 

The Bohra. — The Patel, noM' the virtual master of the peasantry, 
was aware that fine and confiscation would folloM' the discovery 
of direct oppression of the rj ots ; but there M'ere [534] many 
indirect modes by which he could attain his object, and he took 
the most secure, the medium of their necessities. Hitherto, the 
impoverished husbandman had his wants supplied by the Bohra, 
the sanctioned usurer of each village ; now, the priv-ileged Patel 
usurped his functions, and bound him by a double chain to his 
purposes. But we must explain the functions of the Bohra, in 
order to shoM’ the extent of subordination in M'hich the ryot was 
placed. 

The Bohra of Rajputana is the Metayer of the ancient system 
of France. He furnishes the cultivator with whatever he requires 


1554 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


for his pursuits, whether cattle, implements, or seed ; and sup- 
ports him and his family throughout the season until the crop is 
ready for the sickle, when a settlement of accounts takes place. 
This is done in two ways : either by a cash payment, with stipu- 
lated interest according to the risk previously agreed upon ; or, 
more commonly, by a specified share of the crop, in which the 
Bohra takes the risk of bad seasons with the husbandman. The 
utility of such a person under an oppressive government, where 
the ryot can store up nothing for the futme, may readily be 
conceived ; he is, in fact, indispensable. Mutual honesty is 
required ; for extortion on the part of the Bohra would lose him 
liis cUents, and dishonesty on that of the peasant would deprive 
liim of his only resource against the sequestration of his patrimony. 
Accordingly, this monied middleman enjoyed great consideration, 
being regarded as the patron of the husbandman. Every peasant 
had his particular Bohra, and not unfrequently from the adjacent 
village in preference to his own. 

Such was the state of things when the old system of lattha 
batai was commuted for bighoti, a specific money-rent apportioned 
to the area of the land. The Patel, now tied down to the simple 
duties of collection, could touch nothing but his dues, unless he 
leagued with or overturned the Bohra ; and in either case there 
was risk from the Ijnx-eyed scrutiny of the regent. They, 
accordingly, adopted the middle course of alarming his cupidity, 
which the folfowing expedient effected. When the crop was 
ripe, the peasant would demand permission to cut it. “ Pay 
your rent first,” was the reply. The Bohra was apphed to ; but 
his fears had been awakened by a caution not to lend monej* to 
one on whom the government had claims. There was no alterna- 
tive but to mortgage to the harpy Patel a portion of the produce 
of his fields. This wns the precise point at which he aimed ; he 
took the crop at his own valuation, and gave his receipt that the 
dues of government were satisfied ; demanding a certificate to 
the effect ” that having no funds forthcoming [535] when the rent 
was required, and being unable to raise it, the mortgager volun- 
tarily assigned, at a fair valuation, a share of the produce.” In 
this manner did the Patels hoard inunense quantities of grain, 
and as Kotah became the granary of Rajputana, they accumulated 
great wealth, while the peasant, never able to reckon on the 
fruits of his industry, was depressed and impoverished. The 



THE RYOT AND HIS LAND-RENT 


1555 


regent could not long be kept in ignorance of these extortions ; 
but the treasury overflowed, and he did not sufficiently heed the 
miseries occasioned by a system which added fresh lands by 
sequestration to the home farms, now the object of his especial 
sohcitude. 

Suppression of the Patel System. — ^Matters proceeded thus 
imtil the year 1867 (a.d. 1811), when, like a clap of thunder, 
mandates of arrest were issued, and every Patel in Kotah was 
placed in fetters, and his property under the seal of the State ; the 
ill-gotten wealth, as usual, flowing into the exchequer of the 
Protector. Pew escaped heavy fines ; one only was enabled 
altogether to evade the vigilance of the police, and he had wisely 
remitted his wealth, to the amount of seven lakhs, or £70,000, to 
a foreign country ; and from this individual case, a judgment 
may be formed of the prey these cormorants were compelled to 
disgorge. 

It is to be inferred that the regent must have well weighed the 
present good against the eyil he incurred, in destroying in one 
moment the credit and efficacy of such an engine of power as the 
Pateli system he had established. The CouncU of Four main- 
tained their post, notwithstanding the humiliated condition of 
their compeers ; though their influence could not fail to be 
weakened by the discredit attached to the body. The system 
Zahm had so artfully introduced being thus entirely disorganized, 
he was induced to push still further the resources of his energetic 
mind, by the extension of his personal farms. In describing the 
formation and management of these, we shall better portray the 
character of the regent than by the most laboured summary ; the 
acts will paint the man. 

Before, however, we enter upon this singular part of his 
historj', it is necessary to develop the ancient agricultural system 
of Haraoti, to which he returned when the patch was broken 
up. In the execution of this design, we must speak both 
of the soU and the occupants, whose moral estimation in the 
minds of their rulers must materially influence their legislative 
conduct. 

The ryot of India, like the progenitor of all tillers of the earth, 
bears the brand of vengeance on his forehead ; for as Cain was 
cursed by the Almighty, so were the cultivators of India by 
Ramachandra, as a class whom no lenity could render honest or 



1556 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


[536j contented. When the hero of Ayodhya left his kingdom 
for Lanka, he enjoined his minister to foster the ryots, that he 
might hear no complaints on his return. Aware of the fruitless- 
ness of the attempt, yet deternnncd to guard against all just 
cause of complaint, the minister reversed the mauna, or grain 
measure, taking the share of the crown from the smaller end, 
exactly one-half of what was sanctioned by immemorial usage. 
When Rama returned, the cultivators assembled in bodies at 
each stage of his journey, and complained of the innovations of 
the minister. “ What had he done V " “ Rev'ersed the mauna."’ 

The monarch dismissed them with his curse, as “ a race whom 
no favour could conciliate, and who belonged to no one ” ; a 
phrase wliich to this hour is proverbial, ‘ ryot kisi ka nahin hai ’ ; 
and the sentence is confirmed by the historians of Alexander, 
who tell us that they lived unmolested amidst all intestine wars ; 
that “they only till the ground and pay tribute to the king,” 
<?njoying an amnesty from danger when the commonwealth 
suffered, which must tend to engender a love of soil more than 
patriotism.^ It would appear as if the regent of Kotah had 
availed himself of the anathema of Rama in his estimation of the 
moral virtues of his subjects, who were Helots in condition if 
not in name. 

Modes of realizing Land-Rent. — ^^'e proceed to the modes of 
realizing the dues of the State, in which the character and con- 
dition of the peasant will be further developed. There are four 
modes of levying the land-tax, three of which are common through- 
out Rajwara ; the fourth is more pecidiar to Haraoti and Mewar. 
The first and most ancient is that of baiui, or ‘ payment in kind,’ 
practised before metallic currency was invented. The system of 
batai extends, however, only to corn ; for sugar-cane, cotton^ 
hemp, poppy, al, kusumbha,^ ginger, turmeric, and other dyes and 
drugs, and all garden stuffs, pay a rent in money. Tliis rent was 
arbitrary and variable, according to the necessities or justice of 
the ruler. In both countries five to ten rupees per bigha are 
demanded for sugar-cane ; three to five for cotton, poppy, hemp, 
and oil-plant ; and two to four for the rest. But when heaven 
was bounteous, avarice and oppression rose in their demands, and 

^ [McCrindle, Megasthenes, 41.] 

“ [At, Morinda citrifolia, from which a dye is made ; hvmmbha, safflower, 
Carthamus tinctorius, also a dye (Watt, Econ. Prod. 783 f., 276 If.).] 



THE RYOT AND HIS LAND-RENT 


1557 


seventy rupees per bigha were exacted for the sugar-cane, thus 
paralysing the industry of the cultivator, and rendering abortive 
the beneficence of the Almighty. 

Batai, or ‘ division in kind,’ varies with the seasons and their 
products : 

1st. The unalii, or ‘ summer harvest,’ when wheat, barley, and 
a v'ariety of pulses, as gram, moth, mung, til,^ are raised. The 
share of the State in these varies with the fertility of the soil, 
from one-fourth, one-third, and two-fifths, to one-half — the 
extreme fractions being the maximum and minimum ; those of 
one-third and two-fifths [537] are the most universally admitted 
as the share of the crown. But besides this, there are dues to 
the artificers and mechanics, whose labour to the village is com- 
pensated by a share of the harvest from each cultivator ; which 
allowances reduce the portion of the latter to one-half of the gross 
produce of his industry, which if he realize, he is contented and 
thrives. 

The second harvest is the siyalii, or ‘ autumnal,’ and consists 
of makkai or bhutta (Indian com), of juar, bajra, the two chief 
kinds of maize,^ and til or sesamum, with other small seeds, such 
as kangni,^ with many of the pulses. Of all these, one-half is 
exacted by the State. 

Such is the system of batai ; let us describe that of kw/.* 
Kut ^ is the conjectural estimate of the quantity of the standing 
crop on a measured surface, by the olTicers of the government in 
conjunction with the proprietors, when the share of the State is 
converted into cash at the average rate of the day, and the 
peasant is debited the amount. So exactly can those habitually 
exercised in this method estimate the quantity of grain produced 
on a given surface, that they seldom err beyond one-twentieth 

^ [Moth, Phaseolus aconitifolius ; mung, P. mungo ; til, Sesamum in- 
dicumi] 

2 [Juar and bajra are millets ; makkai is maize.] 

® Panicum Italicuin [Setaria italica], produced abundantly in the vaUey 
of the Rhine, as well as makkai, there called Velsh corn ; doubtless the 
maizes would alike grow in perfection. [Watt, Comm. Prod. 988.] 

* It would be more correct to say that batai, or ‘ payment in kind,’ is 
divided into two branches, namely, kut and lattha ; the first being a portion 
of the standing crop by conjectural estimate ; the other by actual measure, 
after reaping and thrashing. 

‘ [Kut means ‘ valuation, appraisement.’] 



1558 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


part of the crop. Should, however, the cultivator deem his 
crop over-estimated, he has the power to cut and weigh it ; and 
this is termed latiha. 

The third is a tax in money, according to admeasurement of 
the field, assessed previously to cultivation. 

The fourth is a mixed tax, of both money and produce. 

None of these modes is free from objection. That of kut, 
or conjectural estimate of the standing crop, is, however, liable 
to much greater abuse than lallha, or measurement of the grain. 
In the first case, it is well known that by a bribe to the officer, 
he will kut a field at ten maunds, which may realize twice the 
quantity ; for the chief guarantees to honesty are fear of detection, 
and instinctive morality ; feeble safeguards, even in more civilized 
States than Rajwara. If he be so closely watched that he must 
make a fair kut, or estimate, he will still find means to extort 
money from the ryot, one of which is, by procrastinating the 
estimate when the ear is ripe, and when every day’s delay is a 
certain loss. In short, a celebrated superintendent of a district, 
of great credit both tor zeal and honesty [538], confessed, “ We 
are like tailors ; we can cheat you to your face, and you cannot 
perceive it.” The ryot prefers the kut ; the process is soon over, 
and he has done with the government ; but in lattha, the means 
are varied to perplex and cheat it ; beginning with the reaping, 
when, with a liberal hand, they leave something for the gleaner; 
then, a “ tithe for the kkurpi, or ‘ sickle ’ ” ; then, the thrashing ; 
and though they muzzle the ox who treads out the corn, they do 
not their own mouths, or those of their family. Again, if not 
convertible into coin, they are debited and allowed to store it up, 
and “ the rats are sure to get into the pits.” In both cases the 
shahnahs, or field-watchmen, are appointed to watch the crops, 
as soon as the ear begins to fill ; yet all is insufficient to check 
the system of pillage ; for the ryot and his family begin to feed 
upon the heads of Indian corn and millet the moment they afford 
the least nourishment. The shahnah, receiving his emoluments 
from the husbandman as well as from the crown, inclines more to 
his fellow-citizen ; and it is asserted that one-fourth of the crop 
and even a third, is frequently made away with before the share 
of the government can be fixed. 

Yet the system of lattha was pursued by the regent before he 
commenced that of pateli, which has no slight analogy to the 



THE FARMING SYSTEM OF ZALIM SINGH 1559 


permanent system of Bengal,* and was attended with similar 
results, — distress, confiscation, and sale, to the utter exclusion 
of the hereditary principle, the very corner-stone of Hindu 
society. 


CHAPTER 8 

The Fanning Monopoly. — Let us proceed with the most 
prominent feature of the regent’s internal administration — his 
farming monopoly — to which he is mainly indebted for the reputa- 
tion he [539] enjoys throughout Rajputana. The superficial 
observer, who ean with difficulty find a path through the corn-fields 
which cover the face of Haraoti, will dwell with rapture upon the 
effects of a system in which he discovers nothing but energy and 
efficiency: he cannot trace the remote causes of this deceptive 
prosperity, which originated in moral and political injustice. It 
was because his own tyranny had produced unploughed fields and 
deserted ^’illages, starving husbandmen and a diminishing popula- 
tion ; it was with the distrained implements and cattle of his 
subjects, and in order to prevent the injurious effects of so much 
waste land upon the revenue, that Zalira commenced a system 
which has made him farmer-general of Haraoti ; and he has 
carried it to an astonishing extent. There is not a nook or a 
patch in Haraoti where grain can be produced which his ploughs 
do not visit. Forests have disappeared ; even the barren rocks 
have been covered with exotic soil, and the mountain’s side, 
inaccessible to the plough, is turned up with a spud, and compelled 
to yield a crop. 

In S. 1840 (a.d. 1784), Zalim possessed only two or three 
himdred ploughs, which in a few years increased to eight himdred. 
At the commencement of what they term the new era (nay a 
sanwat) in the history of landed property of Kotah, the introduc- 
tion of the pateU system, the number was doubled ; and at the 

* The patel of Haraoti, like the zemindar of Bengal, was answerable for 
the revenues ; the one, however, was hereditary only during pleasure ; the 
other perpetually so. The extent of their authorities was equal. 



1560 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAII 


present time ' no less than four thousand ploughs, of double 
yoke, employing sixteen thousand oxen, are used in the farming 
system of this extraordinary man ; to which may be added 
one thousand more ploughs and four thousand oxen employed 
on the estates of the prince and the different members of his 
family. 

This is the secret of the Raj Rana’s power and reputation ; and 
to the wealth extracted from her soil, Kotah owes her preserva- 
tion from the ruin which befell the States around her during the 
convulsions of the last half-century, when one after another sank 
into decay. But although sagacity marks the plan, and un- 
exampled energ\' superintends its details, we must, on examining 
the foundations of the system either morally or politically, pro- 
nounce its effects a mere paroxysm of prosperity, arising from 
stimulating causes which jiresent no guarantee of permanence. 
Despotism has wrought this magic effect : there is not one, from 
the noble to the peasant, who has not felt, and who does not still 
feel, its presence. \Alicn the arm of the octogenarian Protector 
shall be withdrawn, and the authority transferred to his son, who 
possesses none of the father’s energies, then will the impolicy of 
the system become apparent. It [540] was from the sequestrated 
estates of the valiant Kara chieftain, and that grinding oppression 
which thinned Haraoti of its agricultural population, and left 
the lands waste, that the regent found scope for his genius. The 
fields, which had descended from father to son through the lapse 
of ages, the unalienable right of the peasant, were seized, in spite 
of law, custom, or tradition, on every defalcation ; and it is even 
affirmed that he sought pretexts to obtain such lands as from 
their contiguity or fertiUty he coveted, and that hundreds were 
thus deprived of their inheritance. In vain we look for the 
peaceful hamlets which once studded Haraoti : we discern instead 
the ori, or farmhouse of the regent, which would be beautiful 
were it not erected on the property of the subject ; but when we 
inquire the ratio which the cultivators bear to the cultivation, 
and the means of enjojunent this artificial system has left them, 
and find that the once independent proprietor, who claimed a 
sacred right of inheritance,* now ploughs like a serf the fields 

* This was drawn up in 1820-21. 

* Throughout the Bundi territory, where no regent has innovated on 
the established laws of inheritance, by far the greater part of the land is 



AGRICULTURE IN KOTAH 1561 

formerly his own, all our perceptions of moral justice are 
shocked. 

The love of country and the passion for possessing land are 
strong throughout Rajputana : while there is a hope of existence 
the cultivator clings to the bapola, and in Haraoti this amor patriae 
is so invincible, that, to use their homely phrase, “ he would 
rather fill his pet in slavery there, than live in luxury abroad.” 
But where could they fly to escape oppression ? All around was 
desolation ; armies perambulated the country, with rapid strides, 
in each other's train, “ one to another stiU succeeding.” To this 
evil Kotah was comparatively a stranger ; the Protector was the 
only plunderer within his domains. Indeed, the inhabitants of 
the surrounding States, from the year 1865, when rapine was 
at its height, flocked into Kotah, and filled up the chasm which 
ojjpression had produced in the population. But with the 
banishment of predatory war, and the return of industry to its 
o^vn field of exertion, this panacea for the wounds which the ruler 
has inflicted will disappear ; and although the vast resources of 
the regent’s mind may cheek the appearance of decay, while his 
faculties survive to superintend this vast and complicated system, 
it must ultimately, from the want of a principle of permanence, 
fall into rapid disorganization. We proceed to the details [541] 
of the system, which will afford fresh proofs of the talent, industry, 
and \’igilance of this singular character. 

Agriculture in Kotah. — The soil of Kotah is a- rich tenacious 
mould, resembling the best parts of lower Malwa. The single 
plough is unequal to breaking it up, and the regent has intro- 
duced the plough of double yoke from the Konkan. His cattle 
are of the first quality, and equally fit for the park or the plough. 


the absolute property of the cultivating ryot, who can sell or mortgage it. 
There is a curious tradition that this right was obtained by one of the 
ancient princes making a general sale of the crown land, reserving only the 
tax. In Bundi, if a rj ot becomes unable, from pecuniary wants or other- 
wise, to cultivate his lands, he lets them ; and custom has established four 
annas per bigha of irrigated land, and two annas for gortna, that dependent 
on the heavens, or a share of the produce in a similar proportion, as his 
right. If in exile, from whatever cause, he can assign this share to trustees ; 
and, the more strongly to mark his inalienable right in such a case, the 
trustees reserve on his account two sers on every maund of produce, 
which is emphatically termed ‘ hath bapoia ka btium,’’ the ‘ dues of the 
patrimonial soil.’ 



1562 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


He purchases at all the adjacent fairs, chiefly in his own dominions, 
and at the annual mela (fair) of his favourite city Jhalrapatan.' 
He has tried those of Marwar and of the desert, famed for a 
superior race of cattle ; but he found that the transition from 
their sandy regions to the deep loam of Haraoti soon disabled 
them. 

Each plough or team is equal to the culture of one hundred 
bighas ; consequently 4000 ploughs will cultivate 400,000 during 
each harvest, and for both 800,000, nearly 300,000 English acres. 
The soil is deemed poor whieh does not yield seven to ten maunds ^ 
of wheat per bigha, and five to seven of millet and Indian corn. 
But to take a very low estimate, and allowing for bad seasons, we 
may assume four maunds per bigha as the average produce 
(though double would not be deemed an exaggerated average) : 
this will give 3,200,000 maunds of both products, wheat and 
millet, and the proportion of the former to the latter is as three 
to two. Let us estimate the value of this. In seasons of abund- 
ance, twelve rupees per mauni,^ in equal quantities of both grains, 
is the average ; at this time (July 1820), notwithstanding the 
preceding season has been a failure throughout Rajwara (though 
there was a prospect of an excellent one), and grain a dead weight, 
eighteen rupees per mauni is the current price, and may be quoted 
as the average standard of Haraoti : above is approximating to 
dearness, and below to the reverse. But if we take the average 
of the year of actual plenty, or twelve rupees * per mauni of equal 
quantities of wheat and juar, or one rupee per maund, the result 
is thirty-two lakhs of rupees annual income. 

Let us endeavour to calculate how much of this becomes 
net produce towards the expenses of the government, and 
it will be seen that the charges are about one-third gross 
amount [542]. 

^ [Now the commercial capital of Jhalawar State, on the Kotah border.] 

““ A maund is seventy -five pounds. 

^ Grain ITeasure of Rajputana . — 75 pounds = 1 ser [? 1-7 lbs. The 

standard ser is a little over 2 lbs.] 
43 sers = 1 maund. 

12 maunds = 1 mauni. 

100 maunis = 1 manasa. 

* It does descend as low as eight rupees per mauni for wheat and barley, 
and four for the millets, in seasons of excessive abundance. 



RESULTS OF FARMING MONOPOLY 


1563 


Expenses. 

Establishments — namely, feeding cattle and ser- 
vants, tear and wear of gear, and clearing the 


fields — one-eighth of the gross amount,^ or . 400,000 

Seed 600,000 

Replacing 4000 oxen annually, at 20s.^ . . 80,000 

Extras ........ 20,000 


1,100,000 

We do not presume to give this, or even the gross amount, as 
more than an approximation to the truth ; but the regent himself 
has mentioned that in one year the casualties in oxen amounted 
to five thousand ! We have allowed one-fourth, for an ox will 
work well seven years, if taken care of. Thus, on the lowest scale, 
supposing the necessities of the government required the grain to 
be sold in the year it was raised, twenty lakhs will be the net profit 
of the regent’s farms. But he has abundant resources without 
being forced into the market before the favourable moment ; 
until when, the produce is hoarded up in subterranean granaries. 
Everything in these regions is simple, yet efficient : we will 
describe the grain-pits. 

Storage of Grain. — These pits or trenches are fixed on elevated 
dry spots ; their size being according to the nature of the soil. 
AU the preparation they undergo is the incineration of certain 
vegetable substances, and lining the sides and bottom with wheat 
or barley stubble. The grain is then deposited in the pit, covered 
over with straw, and a terrace of earth, about eighteen inches in 
height, and projecting in front beyond the orifice of the pit, is 
raised over it. This is secured with a coating of clay and cow- 
dung, which resists even the monsoon, and is renewed as the 
torrents injure it. Thus the grain may remain for years without 
injury, while the heat which is extricated checks germination, 
and deters fats and white ants. Thus the regent has seldom less 

* It is not uncommon in Rajwara, when the means of individuals prevent 
them from cultivating their own lands, to hire out the whole with men and 
implements ; for the use of which one-eighth of the produce is the established 
consideration. We have applied this in the rough estimate of the expenses 
of the regent’s farming system. 

’ [To illustrate the rise in prices, the average value of a plough bullock 
is now Rs. 40, or about £2 : 13s.] 



1564 


ANNALS OP HARAVATI : KOTAH 


than fifty lakhs of maunds in various parts of the country, and it 
is on emergencies, or in bad seasons, that these stores see the light ; 
when, instead of twelve rupees, the mauni runs as high as forty, 
or the famine priee of sixty. Then these pits are mines of gold ; 
the regent having frequently sold in one year sixty lakhs of 
maunds. In S. 1860 (or a.d. 1801), during the Mahratta war, 
when Holkar was in the Bharatpur State, and predatory armies 
were moving in every direction, and when famine and war [513] 
conjoined to desolate the country, Kotah fed the whole population 
of Rajwara, and supplied all these roving hordes. In that season, 
grain being fifty-five rupees per mauni, he sold to the enormous 
amount of one crore of rupees, or a million sterling ! 

Reputable merchants of the Mahajan tribe refrain from speculat- 
ing in grain, from the most liberal feelings, esteeming it dharm 
nahin hai, ‘ a want of charity.’ The humane Jain merchant says, 
“ to hoard up grain, for the purpose of taking advantage of human 
miserj^ may bring riches, but never profit.” 

According to the only accessible documents, the whole crown- 
revenue of Kotah from the tax in kind, amounted, under bad 
management, to twenty-five lakhs of rupees. This is all the 
regent admits he collects from (to use his own phrase) his handful 
(pachiieara) of soil : of course he does not include his own farming 
system, but only the amount raised from the cultivator. He 
confesses that two-thirds of the superficial area of Kotah were 
waste ; but that this is now reversed, there being two-tliirds 
cultivated, and only one-tliird waste, and this comprises mountain, 
forest, common, etc. 

Extortionate Taxes. — In S. 1865 (a.d. 1809), as if industry were 
not already sufficiently shackled, the regent established a new 
tax on all corn exported from his dominions. It was termed 
lattha, and amounted to a rupee and a half per mauni. This tax 
— ^not less unjust in origin than vexatious in operation — worse 
than even the infamous gabelle, or the droit d’aitbaine of France — 
was another fruit of monopoly. It was at first confined to the 
grower, though of course it fell indirectly on the consumer ; but 
the Jagatya,' or chief collector of the customs, a man after the 
regent’s own heart, was so pleased with its efficiency on the very 
first trial, that he advised his master to push it farther, and it 

* [Jagatya, a MaratM word derived from Arabic zakaf, the religious 
alms which a Musalman is bound to pay.) 



RESULTS OF FARMING MONOPOLY 


1565 


was accordingly le\ied as well on the farmer as the purchaser. 
An item of ten lakhs was at once added to the budget ; and as 
if this were insufficient to stop all competition between the 
regent-farmer-general and his subjects, three^ four, nay even five 
latthas, have been levied from the same grain before it was retailed 
for consumption. Kotah exliibited the picture of a people, if 
not absolutely starving, yet living in penury in the midst of plenty. 
Neither the lands of his chiefs nor those of his ministers were 
exempt from the operation of this tax, and all were at the mercy 
of the Jagatj’a, from whose arbitrary will there was no appeal. 
It had reached the very height of oppression about the period of 
the affiance with the British Government. This collector had 
become a part of his system ; and if the regent required a few 
lakhs of ready money, Jo hukm, ‘ your commands,’ was the 
reply. A list was made out of ‘ arrears of laitha,’ and friend and 
foe, minister, banker, trader, and farmer, had a circular. Remon- 
strance was not only vain but [5J4] dangerous : even his ancient 
friend, the Pandit Balal, had twenty-five thousand rupees to 
pay in one of these schedules ; the hommc d'affaires of one of his 
confidential chiefs, five thousand ; his own foreign minister a 
share, and many bankers of the town, four thousand, five thousand, 
and ten thousand each. The term laitha was an abuse of language 
for a forced contribution ; in fact the obnoxious and well-known 
dand of Rajwara. It alienated the minds of aU men, and 
nearly occasioned the regent's ruin ; for scarcely W'as their 
individual sympathy expressed, when the Kara princes conspired 
to emancipate themselves from his interminable and gaffing 
protection. 

When the English Government came in contact with Rajwara, 
it was a primary principle of the imiversal protective alliance to 
proclaim that it was for the benefit of the governed as well as the 
governors, since it availed httle to destroy the wolves without 
if they were consigned to the hon within. But there are and 
must be absurd inconsistencies, even in the pohcy of western 
legislators, where one set of principles is apphed to all. Zalim 
soon discovered that the fashion of the day was to parwarish, 
‘ foster the ryot.’ The odious character of the tax was diminished, 
and an edict hmited its operation to the farmer, the seller, and 
the purchaser ; and so anxious was he to conceal this weapon of 
oppression, that the very name of laitha was abolished, and 


1566 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


scami hasil, or ‘ extraordinaries,’ substituted. This item is said 
still to amount to five laklis of rupees. 

Thus did the skill and rigid system of the regent exact from 
liis pachiwara of soil, full fifty lakhs of rupees. We must also 
recollect that nearly five more are to be added on account of the 
household lands of the members of his own and the prince’s 
family, wliich is almost sufficient to cover their expenses. 

What will the European practical farmer, of enlarged means 
and experience, think of the man who arranged this complicated 
system, and who, during forty years, has superintended its 
details ? What opinion will he form of his vigour of mind, who, 
at the age of fourscore years, although blind and palsied, stiU 
superintends and maintains this system ? What will he think 
of the tenacity of memory, which bears graven thereon, as on a 
tablet, an account of all these vast depositories of grain, witli 
their varied contents, many of them the store of years past ; 
and the power to check the sh'ghtest errors of the intendant of 
this vast accumulation ; while, at the same time, he regulates 
the succession of crops throughout this extensive range ? Such 
is the minute topographical knowledge which the regent possesses 
of his country, that every field in every farm is familiar [545] to 
him ; and woe to the superintendent Havaldar ' if he discovers 
a fallow nook that ought to bear a crop. 

Yet vast as this system is, overwhelming as it would seem to 
most minds, it formed but a part of the political engine conducted 
and kept in action by his single powers. The details of his 
admimstration, internal as well as external, demanded unremitted 
vigilance. The formation, the maintenance, and discipline of an 
army of twenty thousand men, his fortresses, arsenals, and their 
complicated minutiae, were amply sufficient for one mind. The 
daily account from his police, consisting of several hundred 
emissaries, besides the equally numerous reports from the head of 
each district, would have distracted an ordinary head, “ for the 
winds could not enter and leave Haraoti without being reported.” 
But when, in addition to all this, it is known that the regent 
was a practical merchant, a speculator in exchanges, that he 
encouraged the mechanical arts, fostered foreign industry, pursued 
even horticulture, and, to use his own words, “ considered no 
trouble thrown away which made the rupee return sixteen and 
‘ [Havaldar, havaladar, the officer in charge of the collection of grain.] 



CHARACTER OF ZALIM SINGH 


1567 


a half annas, with whom can he he compared ? ” ^ Literature, 
philosophy, and excerptae from the grand historical epics, were the 
amusements of his hours of relaxation ; but here we anticipate, 
for we have not yet finished the review of his economical char- 
acter. His monopolies, especially that of grain, not only in- 
fluenced his own market, but affected all the adjacent countries ; 
and when speculation in opium ran to such a demoralizing excess 
in consequence of the British Government monopolizing the 
entire produce of the poppy cultivated tlu-oughout Malwa, he 
took advantage of the mania, and by liis sales or purchases raised 
or depressed the market at pleasure. His gardens, scattered 
throughout the country, still supply the markets of the towns 
and capital with vegetables, and his forests furnish them with fuel. 

So rigid was liis system of taxation that nothing escaped it. 
There was a heavy tax on widows who remarried. Even the 
gourd of the njendicant paid a tithe, and the ascetic in his cell 
had a domiciliary visit to ascertain the gains of mendicity, in 
order that a portion should go to the exigencies of the State. 
The tumba barar, or ‘ gourd-tax,’ was abolished after for min g for 
a twelvemonth part of the fiscal code of Haraoti, and then not 
through any scruples of the regent, but to satisfy his friends. 
Akin to this, and even of a lower grade, was the jharu barar, or 
‘ broom-tax,’ which continued for ten years ; but the many 
lampoons it provoked from the satirical Bhat operated on the 
more sensitive feelings of his son, Madho Singh, who obtained 
its repeal [546]. 

Zalim Singh and the Bards. — Zalim was no favourite with the 
bards ; and that he had little claim to their consideration may 
be inferred from the following anecdote. A celebrated rhymer 
was reeiting some laudatory stanzas, wliich the regent received 
rather coldly, observing with a sneer that “ they told nothing 
but hes, though he should be happy to listen to their effusions 
when truth was the foimdation.” The poet replied that “ he 
found truth a most unmarketable commodity ; nevertheless, he 
had some of that at his service ” ; and stipulating for forgiveness 
if they offended, he gave the protector his pictiue in a string of 
improvised stanzas, so full of vish (poison), that the lands of the 
whole fraternity were resumed, and none of the order have ever 
since been admitted to his presence. 

^ There are sixteen annas to a rupee. 



1568 


ANNALS OF HAKAVATI : KOTAH 


Though rigid in his observance of the ceremonies of religion, 
and sharing in the prevailing superstitions of his country, he 
never allows the accidental circumstance of birth or caste 
to affect his policy. Offences against the State admit of no 
indemnity, be the offender a Brahman or a bard ; and if these 
classes engage in trade, they experience no exemption from 
imposts. 

Such is an outline of the territorial arrangements of the regent 
Zalim Singh. When power W’as assigned to him, he found the 
State limited to Kelwara on the east ; he has extended it to the 
verge of the Plateau, and the fortress which guards its ascent, at 
first rented from the Mahrattas, is now by treaty his own. He 
took possession of the reins of power with an empty treasury and 
thirty-two lakhs of accumulating debt. He found the means of 
defence a few dilapidated fortresses, and a brave but unmanage- 
able feudal army. He has, at an immense cost, put the fortresses 
into the most complete state of defence, and covered their 
ramparts with many hundred pieces of cannon ; and he has 
raised and maintains, in lieu of about four thousand Kara cava- 
liers, an armj' — regular we may term it — of twenty thousand 
men, distributed into battalions, a park of one himdred pieces 
of cannon, with about one thousand good horse, besides the 
feudal contingents. 

But is this prosperity ? Is this the greatness which the Raja 
Guman intended should be entailed upon his successors, his 
chiefs, and his subjects ? Was it to entertain twenty thousand 
mercenary soldiers from the sequestrated fields of the illustrious 
Hara, the indigenous proprietor ? Is this government, is it 
good government according to the ideas of more civilized nations, 
to extend taxation to its limit, in order to maintain this cumbrous 
machinery. We maj' admit that, for a time, such a system may 
have been requisite, not only for the maintenance of his delegated 
[547] power, but to preserve the State from predatory spoliation ; 
and now, could we see the noble restored to his forfeited estates, 
and the ryot to his hereditary rood of land, we should say that 
Zalim Singh had been an instrument in the hand of Providence 
for the preservation of the rights of the Haras. But, as it is, 
whilst the com which waves upon the fertUe surface of Kotah 
presents not the symbol of prosperity, neither is his well-paid 
and well-disciplined army a sure means of defence ; moral pro- 



FOREIGN POLICY OF ZALIM SINGH 


1569 


priety has been violated ; rights are in abeyance, and until they 
be restored, even the apparent consistency of the social fabric 
is obtained by means which endanger its security. 


CHAPTER 9 

Foreign Policy of Zalim Singh. — The foregoing reflections 
bring us back to political considerations, and these we must 
separate into two branches, the foreign and domestic. We 
purposely invert the discussion of these topics for the sake of 
convenience. 

Zalim’s policy was to create, as regarded himself, a kind of 
balance of power ; to overawe one leader by his influence with 
another, yet, by the maintenance of a good understanding with 
all, to prevent individual umbrage, while his own strength was 
at aU times sufficient to make the scale preponderate in his 
favour. 

, Placed in the very heart of India, Kotah was for years the 
centre around which revolved the desultory armies, or ambulant 
governments, ever strangers to repose ; and though its wealth 
could not fail to attract the cupidity of these vagabond powers, 
yet, by the imposing attitude which he assumed, Zalim Singh 
maintained, during more than half a century, the respect, the 
fear, and even the esteem of all ; and Kotah alone, throughout 
this lengthened period, so full of catastrophes, never saw an 
enemy [548] at her gates. Although an epoch of perpetual 
change and political con\’ulsion — armies destroyed. States 
overturned, famine and pestilence often aiding moral causes in 
desolating the land — ^yet did the regent, from the age of twenty- 
five to eighty-two,^ by liis sagacity, his energy, liis moderation, 
his prudence, conduct the bark intrusted to his care through 
aU the shoals and dangers which beset her course. It may not 
excite surprise that he was unwilling to relinquish the hehn when 
the vessel was moored in calm waters ; or, when the unskilful 
owner, forgetting these tempests, and deeming his own science 

‘ I may once more repeat, this was written in a.d. 1820-21, when Zalim 
Smgh had reached the age of fourscore and two. [He died, aged 84, in 1824.] 


1570 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; KOTAH 


equal to the task, demanded the surrender, that he should hoist 
the flag of defiance. 

There was not a court in Rajwara, not even the predatory 
governments, which was not in some way influenced by his 
opinions, and often guided by his councils. At each he had 
envoys, and when there was a point to gain, there were irresistible 
arguments in reserve to secure it. The necessities, the vanities, 
and weaknesses of man he could enlist on his side, and he was 
alternately, by adoption, the father, uncle, or brother of every 
person in power during this eventful period, from the prince upon 
the throne to the brat of a Pindari. He frequently observed 
that “ none knew the sliifts he had been put to ” ; and when 
entreated not to use expressions of humility, which were alike 
imsuited to liis age and station, and the reverence he compelled, 
he would reply, “ God grant you long life, but it is become a 
habit.” For the last ten years he not only made his connexion 
with Amir Klian subservient to avoiding a coUision with HoUcar, 
but Converted the Khan into the make-weight of his balance of 
power ; “he thanked God the time was past when he had to 
congratulate even the slave of a Turk on a safe accouchement, and 
to pay for this happiness.” 

Though by nature irascible, impetuous, and proud, he could 
bend to the extreme of submission. But while he woifld, by 
letter or conversation, say to a marauding Pindari or Pathan, 
“ let me petition to your notice,” or “ if my clodpole understanding 
{bhumia buddh) is worth consulting ” ; or reply to a demand 
for a contribution, coupled with a threat of inroad, “ that the 
friendly epistle had been received ; that he lamented the writer's 
distresses, etc. etc,” with a few thousand more than was de- 
manded, and a present to the messenger, he would excite a feehng 
which at least obtained a respite ; on the other hand, he was 
always prepared to repel aggression, and if a single action 
woifld have decided his quarrel, he would not have hesitated to 
engage any power in the circle. But he knew even success, in 
■such a case, to be ruin, and the general [5i9] feature of his external 
policy was accordingly of a temporizing and very mixed nature. 
Situated as he was, amidst conflicting elements, he had frequently 
a double game to play. Thus, in the coalition of 1806-7, against 
Jodhpur, he had three parties to please, each requesting his aid, 
which made neutrahty almost impossible. He sent envoys to 



MONSON’S CAAIPAIGN 1571 

all ; and while appearing as the universal mediator, he gave 
assistance to none. 

It would be vain as well as useless to attempt the details of 
his foreign policy ; we shall merely allude to the circumstances 
wliich first brought him in contact with the British Government, 
in A.D. 1803—4, and then proceed to his domestic administration. 

Monson’s Campaign. Gallantry of the Koila Chief. — ^When the 
ill-fated expedition under Monson traversed Central India to the 
attack of Holkar, the regent of Kotah, trusting to the invinci- 
bility of the British arms, did not hesitate, upon their appearance 
within his territory, to co-operate both with supplies and men. 
But when the British army retreated, and its commander de- 
manded admission within the walls of Kotah, he met a decided 
and very proper refusal. You shall not bring anarchy and a 
disorganized army to mix with my peaceable citizens ; but draw 
up your battalions under my walls ; I will furnish provisions, and 
I will march the whole of my force betw'een you and the enemy, 
and bear the brunt of his attack.” Such were Zalim’s own 
expressions ; whether it would have been wise to accede to his 
proposal is not the point of discussion. Monson continued his 
disastrous flight through the Bundi and Jaipur do min ions, and 
carried almost alone the news of his disgrace to the illustrious 
Lake. It was natural he shoidd seek to palliate his error by an 
attempt to involve others ; and amongst those thus calumniated, 
first and foremost was the regent of Kotah, “ the head and front 
of whose offending ’’—non-admission to a panic-struck, beef- 
eating army within his walls — was translated into treachery, 
and a connivance with the enemy ; a calumny which long sub- 
sisted to the prejudice of the veteran politician. But never was 
there a greater wrong inflicted, or a more unjust return for services 
and sacrifices, both in men and money, in a cause which httle 
concerned him ; and it nearly operated hurtfuUy, at a period 
(1817) when the British Government could not have dispensed 
with his aid. It was never told, it is hardly yet know'ii at this 
distant period, what devotion he evinced in that memorable 
retreat, as it is misnamed, when the troops of Kotah and the corjjs 
of the devoted Lucan were sacrificed to ensure the safety of the 
army until it left the Mukimddarra Pass in its rear. If there be 
any incredulous supporter of the commander in that era of our 
shame, let him repair to the altar of the Koila chief, who, like a 


1572 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI ; KOTAH 


true Kara, ‘ spread his carpet ’ at the ford of the Amjar, and 
there awaited the myrmidons [550] of the Mahrattas, and fell 
protecting the flight of an army which might have passed from 
one end of India to the other. Well might the veteran allude to 
our ingratitude in 1804, when in a.d. 1817 he was called upon to 
co-operate in the destruction of that predatory system, in with- 
standing which he had passed a life of feverish anxiety. If there 
was a doubt of the part he acted, if the monuments of the slain 
wiU not be admitted as evidence, let us appeal to the opinion of 
the enemy, whose testimony adds another feature to the portrait 
of this extraordinary man. 

Besides the Koila chief, and many brave Haras, slain on the 
retreat of Monson, the Bakhshi, or commander of the force, was 
made prisoner. As the price of his liberation, and as a punish- 
ment for the aid thus given to the British, the Mahratta leader 
exacted a bond of ten lakhs of rupees from the Bakhshi, threaten- 
ing on refusal to lay w'aste with fire and sword the whole line of 
pursuit. But when the discomfited Baklrshi appeared before 
the regent, he spurned him from his presence, disavowed his act, 
and sent him back to Holkar to pay the forfeiture as he might. ^ 
Holkar satisfied himself then with threatening vengeance, and 
when opportunity permitted, he marched into Haraoti and 
encamped near the capital. The walls were manned to receive 
him ; the signal had been prepared which would not have left 
a single house inhabited in the plains, while the Bhils would 
simultaneously pour down from the lulls on Holkar’s supplies or 
followers. The bond was again presented, and without hesitation 
disavowed ; hostilities appeared inevitable, when the friends of 
both parties concerted an interview. But Zalim, aware of the 
perfidy of his foe, declined this, except on his own conditions. 
These were singular, and will recall to mind another and yet more 
celebrated meeting. He demanded that they should discuss 
the terms of peace or war upon the Chambal, to which Holkar 
acceded. For this purpose Zalim prepared two boats, each 
capable of containing about twenty armed men. Hardng moored 
his own little bark in the middle of the stream, under the cannon 
of the city, Holkar, accompamed by liis cavalcade, embarked ui 
his boat and rowed to meet him. Carpets were spread, and there 

^ If my memory betrays me not, this unfortunate commander, unable 
to bear his shame, took poison. 



ZALIM SINGH AND MARATHAS AND PINDARIS 1573 

these extraordinary men, with only one eye ' between them, 
settled the conditions of peace, and the endearing epithets of 
‘ nncle ’ and ‘ nephew ' were bandied, with abundant mirth on 
the peculiarity of their situation ; while — for the fact is beyond 
a doubt — each boat was plugged, and men were at hand on the 
first appearance of treaeherj’^ to have sent them all to the bottom 
of the river.- But Holkar’s [551] necessities were urgent, and a 
gift of three lakhs of rupees averted such a catastrophe, though 
he never relinquished the threat of exacting the ten lakhs ; and 
when at length madness overtook him, “ the bond of Kaka 
Zalim Singh ” was one of the most frequently repeated ravings 
of this soldier of fortune, whose whole life was one scene of 
insanity. 

Relations with Marathas and Pindaris. — It will readily be con- 
ceived that the labours of his administration were quite sufficient 
to occupy his attention without intermeddling with his neighbours ; 
yet, in order to give a direct interest in the welfare of Kotah, he 
became a conqDetitor for the farming of the extensive districts 
which joined his southern frontier, belonging to Sindhia and 
Holkar. From the former he rented the Panj-mahals, and from 
the latter the four important districts of Dig, Piraw'a, etc.,® which, 
when by right of conquest they became British, were given in 
sovereignty to the regent. Not satisfied with this hold of self- 
interest on the two great predatory powers, he had emissaries 
in the persons of their confidential ministers, who reported every 
movement ; and to ‘ make assurance doubly sure,’ he had 
Mahratta pandits of the first talent in his own administration, 
through whose connexions no political measure of their nation 
escaped his knowledge. As for Amir Khan, he and the regent 
were essential to each other. From Kotah the Khan was pro- 
vided with military stores and supplies of every kind ; and when 
his legions mutinied (a matter of daily occurrence) and threatened 
him with the bastinado, or fastening to a piece of ordnance under 
a scorching sun, Kotah afforded a place of refuge during a tem- 

* It should be remembered that Zalim was quite blind, and that Holkar 
bad lost the use of one eye. [See Vol. II. p. 1234.] 

® [Compare the meeting of Alexander I. of Russia and Napoleon at 
Tilsit on June 25, 1807.] 

® [Dig, in Bharatpur State ; Pirawa. one of the Central India districts 
included in Tonk State (/(?/, xx. 151).] 



1574 


ANNALS OF HlRAVATI : KOTAH 


porary retreat, or ways and means to allay the tumult by paying 
the arrears. Zalim allotted the castle of Shirgarh for the Khan’s 
family, so that this leader had no anxiety on their account while 
he was pursuing his career of rapine in more distant scenes. 

Even the Pindaris were conciliated with all the respect and 
courtesy paid to better men. Many of their leaders held grants 
of land in Kotah : so essential, indeed, was a good understanding 
with this body, that when Sindhia, in a.d. 1807, entrapped and 
imprisoned in the dungeons of Gwalior the celebrated Karim,^ 
Zalim not only advanced the large sum required for his ransom, 
but had the temerity to pledge himself for his future good conduct ; 
an act which somewhat tarnished his reputation for sagacity, 
bqt eventually operated as a just punishment on Sindhia for his 
avarice. 

The scale of muniflcence on which the regent exercised the 
rites of sanctuary (saran) towards the chiefs of other countries 
claiming his protection, was disproportioned to the means of the 
State. The exiled nobles of Marwar and Mewar [552] have held 
estates in Kotah greater than their sequestrated patrimonies. 
These dazzling acts of beneficence were not lost on a cormmmity 
amongst whom hospitality ranks at the head of the virtues. In 
these regions, where the strangest anomalies and the most striking 
contradictions present themselves in politics, such conduct begets 
no astonishment, and rarely provokes a remonstrance from the 
State whence the suppliant fled. The regent not only received 
the refugees, but often reconciled them to their sovereigns. He 
gloried in the title of ‘ peace-maker,’ and whether his conduct 
proceeded from motives of benevolence or policy, he was rewarded 
with the epithet, sufficiently exalted in itself. “ They all come 
to old Zalim with their troubles,” he remarked, “ as if he could 
find food for them all from ‘ his handful of soil.’ ” 

To conclude : his defensive was, in its results, the reverse of 
his offensive policy. Invariable and brilliant success accompanied 
the one ; defeat, disappointment, and great pecuniary sacrifices 
were the constant fruits of the other. Mewar eluded all his arts, 
and involved Kotah in embarrassments from which she \vill never 
recover, while his attempt to take Sheopur, the capital of the 
Gaurs, by a coup de main, was signally defeated. Had he suc- 

1 [Karim Khan surrendered to the British in 1818, and was piveu an 
estate in Gorakhpur District.] 



DOMESTIC POLICY OP ZALIM SINGH 


1575 


ceeded in either attempt, and added the resources of these acquisi- 
tions to Kotah, doubtless his views would have been still more 
enlarged. At an early period of lus career, an offer was made to 
him, by the eelebrated Partap Singh of Jaipur, to undertake the 
duties of chief minister of that State : it is vain to speculate on 
what might have been the result to the State or himself, had he 
been able to wield her resources, at that time so little impaired. 

Zalim Singh’s Domestic Policy. Character of Mah^ao Ummed 
Singh. — Let us now view the domestic policy of the regent ; for 
which purpose we must again bring forward the pageant prince of 
Kotah, the Raja Ummed Singh, who was destined never to be 
extricated from the trammels of a guardianship which, like most 
offices in the East, was designed to be hereditary ; and at the age 
of threescore and ten, Ummed Singh found himself as much a 
minor as when his djdng father ‘ placed him in the lap ’ of the 
Protector Zalim Singh. The line of conduct he pursued towards 
his sovereign, through half a century’s duration, was singularly 
consistent. The age, the character, the very title of Nana, or 
‘ grandsire,’ added weight to his authority, and the disposition of 
the prince seemed little inclined to throw it off. In short, his 
temperament appeared exactly suited to the views of the regent, 
who, while he consulted his wishes in every step, acted entirely from 
himself. The Maharao was a prince of .excellent understanding, 
and possessed many of those qualities inherent in a Rajput. 
He was fond of the chase, and was the best horseman and marks- 
man in the cormtry ; and the [553] regent gained such entire 
ascendancy over him, that it is doubtful whether he was solicitous 
of change. Besides, there was no appearance of constraint ; 
and his religious occupations, which increased with his age, went 
far to wean him from a wish to take a more active share in the 
duties of government. His penetration, in fact, discovered the 
inutility of such a desire, and he soon ceased to entertain it ; 
while in proportion as he yielded, the attentions of the minister 
increased. If an envoy came from a foreign State, he was intro- 
duced to the prince, delivered his credentials to him ; and from 
him received a reply, but that reply was his minister’s. If a 
foreign noble claimed protection, he received it from the prince ; 
he was the dispenser of the favoims, though he could neither 
change their nature or amount. Nay, if the regent’s own sons 
required an addition to their estates, it could only be at the express 



1576 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


desire of the Maharao ; and to such a length did the minister carry 
this deference, that an increase to his personal income required 
being pressed upon him by the prince. If horses arrived from 
foreign countries for sale, the best were set aside for the Maharao 
and his sons. The areliives, the seal, and all the emblems of 
sovereignty remained as in times past in the custody of the 
personal servants of the prince, at the castle, though none durst 
use them without consent of the regent. He banished his only 
son, Madho Singh, during three years, to the family estate at 
Nanta, for disrespect to the heir-apparent, Kishor Singh, when 
training their horses together ; and it was with difficulty that 
even the entreaty of the Maharao could procure his recall. There 
are many anecdotes related to evince that habitual deference to 
everything attached to his sovereign, which, originating in good 
feeling, greatly aided liis policy. The regent was one day at 
prayer, in the family temple in the castle, when the younger sons 
of the Maharao, not knowing he was there, entered to perform 
their devotions. It was the cold season, and the pavement was 
damp ; he took the quilt which he wore from his shoulders, and 
spread it for them to stand upon. On their retiring, a servant, 
deeming the quilt no longer fit to be applied to the regent’s 
person, was putting it aside ; but, guessing his intention, Zalim 
eagerly snatched it from him, and re-covering himself, observed 
it was now of some value, since it was marked with the dust of 
the feet of his sovereign’s children. These are curious anomalies 
in the mind of a man who had determined on unlimited authority. 
No usurpation was ever more meek, or yet more absolute ; and 
it might be affirmed that the prince and the regent were made for 
each other and the times in which they lived. 

Zalim Singh and his Servants. — It was to be expected that a 
man whose name was long synonymous with wisdom [554] should 
show discernment in the choice of his servants. He had the art 
of attaching them to his interests, of uniting their regard with 
a submissive respect, and no kindness, no familiarity, ever made 
them forget the boimds prescribed. But while he generously 
provided for all their wants, and granted them every indulgence, 
he knew too well the caprice of human nature to make them 
independent of himself. He would provide for them, for their 
relations and their dependents ; his hand was ever bestowing 
gratuities on festivals, births, marriages, or deaths ; but he never 


ALLIANCE WITH THE BRITISH 


1577 


allowed them to accumulate wealth. It is to be remarked that 
his most confidential servants were either Pathans or Mahratta 
pandits : the first he employed in militar\' posts, the other in 
the more complicated machinery of politics. He rarely employed 
iiis own countrymen ; and the post of Faujdar, now held by 
Bishan Singh, a Rajput of the Saktawat clan, is the exception 
to the rule. Dalil Khan and Mihrab Khan were his most faithful 
and devoted servants and friends. The stupendous fortifications 
of the capital, with which there is nothing in India to compete, 
save the walls of Agra, were all executed bjr the former. By him 
also was raised that pride of the regent, the city called after him, 
.Thalrapatan ; ^ while all the other forts were put into a state 
which makes Kotah the most defensible territory in India. Such 
w’as the affectionate esteem in which Dalil was held by the regent, 
that he used often to say, “ he hoped he should not outlive Dalil 
Khan,” Mihrab Khan was the commander of the infantry^ 
which he maintained in a state of admirable discipline and 
efficiency ; * they received their bis roza, or twenty days’ pay, each 
month, with their arrears at the end of every second j'ear [555], 


CHAPTER 10 

Alliance with the British. — We now enter upon that period of 
the regent’s history’, when the march of events linked him with 
the policy of Britain. IVhen in a.d, 1817, the Marquess of Hast- 
ings proclaimed war against the Pindaris, who were the very lees 
of the predatory hordes, which the discomfiture of the greater 
powers had thrown off, neutrality was not to be endured ; and 
it was announced that all those who were not for us in this grand 
enterprise, which involved the welfare of all, would be considered 

1 Jhalarapatan, ‘ the city of the Jhala,’ the regent’s tribe. [Others 
erplain the name to mean city {patan) of springs (jhalra ) : or city of bells, 
because it contained 108 temples (IGI, xiv. 123).] 

* Mihrab Khan was the commandant of one division of Zalim’s con- 
tingent, placed at my disposal, which in eight days took possession of every 
district of Holkar’s adjacent to Haraoti, and which afterwards gained so 
much credit by the brilliant escalade of the Saudi fortress, when co-operating 
with Gfeneral Sir John Malcolm. The Royals [Raj-Paltan) were led by 
Saif Ali, a gallant soldier, but who could not resist joiniug the cause of the 
Maharao and legitimacy in the civil war of 1821. 

VOI,. Ill 


T 



1578 


ANNALS OP HARAVATI : KOTAH 


against us. The Rajput States, alike interested with ourselves 
in the establishment of settled government, were invited to an 
alliance offensive and defensive with us, which was to free them 
for ever from the thraldom of the predatory armies ; in return for 
which, we demanded homage to our power, and a portion of their 
revenues as the price of protection. The eagle-eye of Zalini saw 
at once the virtue of compliance, and the grace attendant on its 
being quickly yielded. Accordingly, his envoy was the first to 
connect Kotah in the bonds of alliance, which soon imited all 
Rajwara to Britain. Meanwhile, all India was in arms ; two 
hundred thousand men were embodied, and moving on various 
points to destroy th» germ of rapine for ever. As the first scene 
of action was expected to be in the countries bordering upon 
Haraoti, the presence of an agent with Zalim Singh appeared 
indispensable. His instructions were to make available the re- 
sources of Kotah to the armies moving round him, and to lessen 
the field [556] of the enemy’s manoeuvres, by shutting him out of 
that country. So efficient were these resources, that in five days 
after the agent reached the regent’s camp,* every pass was a post ; 
and a corps of fifteen hundred men, infantry and eavalrj’, with 
four guns, was marched to co-operate with General Sir John 
Malcolm, who had just crossed the Nerbudda wth a weak division 
of the army of the Deccan, and was marching northward, sur-^ 
rounded by numerous foes and doubtful friends. Throughout 
that brilliant and eventful period in the history of British India, 
when every province from the Ganges to the ocean was agitated 
by warlike demonstrations, the camp of the regent was the pivot 
of operations and the focus of intelligence. The part he acted 
was decided, manly, and consistent ; and if there were moments 
of vacillation, it was inspired by our own conduct, which created 
doubts in his mind as to the wisdom of his course. He had seen 
and felt that the grand principle of politics, expediency, guided all 
courts and councils, whether Mogul, Mahratta, or British : the 
disavowal of the alliances formed by Lord Lake, under Marquess 
Wellesley’s administration, proved this to demonstration, and he 
was too familiar with the history of our power to give more credit 

* The Author of these annals, then Assistant Resident at Sindhia’s court, 
was deputed by Lord Hastings to the Raj Rana Zalim Singh. He left the 
residency at Gwalior on the 12th November 1817, and reached the regent’s 
camp at Rauta, about twenty -five miles S.S.E. of Kotah, on the 23rd. 



BRITISH ALLIANCE : THE PINDARI WAR 1579 


than mere politeness required to our boasted renunciation of the 
rights of anticipated conquest. A smile would play over the 
features of the orbless politician when the envoy disclaimed all 
idea of its being a war of aggrandisement. To all such protesta- 
tions he would say, “ Maharaja, I cannot doubt you believe what 
you say ; but remember what old Zalim tells you ; the day is not 
distant when only one emblem of power {ekhi sikka) will be 
recognized throughout India.” This was in a.d. 1817-18 ; and 
the ten years of life since granted to him must have well illustrated 
the truth of this remark ; for although no absolute conquest or 
incorporation of Rajput territory has taken place, our system 
of control, and the establishment of our monopoly within these 
limits (not then dreamed of by ourselves), has already verified in 
part his prediction. It were indeed idle to suppose that any 
protestations could have vanquished the arguments present to 
a mind which had pondered on every page of the history of our 
power ; which had witnessed its development from the battle of 
Plassey under Clive to Lake’s exploits at the altars of Alexander. 
He had seen throughout, that the fundamental rule which guides 
the Rajput prince, ‘ obtain land,’ was one both practically and 
theoreticalty understood by viceroys from [557] the west, ‘who 
appeared to act upon the four grand political principles of the 
Rajput, sham, dan, bed, dand ; or, persuasion, gifts, stratagem, 
force ; by which, according to their great lawgiver, kingdoms are 
obtained and maintained, and all mundane affairs conducted. 
When, therefore, in order to attain om ends, we expatiated upon 
the disinterestedness of our views, his co-operation was granted 
less from a belief in our professions, than upon a dispassionate 
consideration of the benefits which such alliance would confer 
upon Kotah, and f its utility in maintaining his family in the 
position it had so long held in that State. He must have balanced 
the difficulties he had mastered to maintain that power, against 
the enemies, internal and external, which had threatened it, 
and he justly feared both would speedily be sacrificed to the 
incapacity of his successors. To provide a stay to their feebleness 
was the motive which induced him to throw himself heart and 
hand into the alliance we sought ; and of signal benefit did he 
prove to the cause he espoused. But if we read aright the work- 
ings of a mind, which never betrayed its purpose either to friend 
or foe, we should find that there was a moment wherein, though 



1580 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


he did not swerve from the path he had chalked out, or show any 
equivocation in respect to the pledge he had given, the same spirit 
which had guided him to the eminence he had acquired, suggested 
what he might have done at a conjuncture when all India, save 
Rajputana, was in arms to overthrow the legions of Britain. All 
had reason to dread her colossal power, and hatred and revenge 
actuated our numerous allies to emancipate themselves from a 
yoke which, whether they were hound by friendship or by fear, 
was alike galling. If there was one master-mind that could have 
combined and wielded their resources for our overthrow, it was 
that of Zalim Singh alone. Whether the aspirations of his ambi- 
tion, far too vast for its little field of action, soared to this height, 
or were checked by the trammels of nearly eighty winters, we can 
only conjecture. Once, and once only, the dubious oracle came 
forth. It was in the very crisis of operations, when three EngUsh 
divisions were gradually closing upon the grand Pindari horde, 
under Karim Khan, in the very heart of his dominions, and his 
troops, his stores, were all placed at our disposal, he heard that 
one of these diWsions had insulted his town of Bara ; then, the 
ideas which appeared to occupy him burst forth in the ejaculation, 
“ that if twenty years could be taken from his life, Delhi and 
Deccan should be one ” ; and appeared to point to the hidden 
thoughts of a man whose tongue never spoke but in parables. 

There is also no doubt that his most confidential friends and 
ministers, who were [558] Mahrattas, were adverse to his leaguing 
with the English, and for a moment he felt a repugnance to break- 
ing the bond which had so long united him with their policy. He 
could not but enumerate amongst the arguments for its main- 
tenance, his ability to preserve that independence which fifty 
years had strengthened, and he saw that, with the power to which 
he was about to be allied, he had no course but unUmited obedience ; 
in short, that his part must now be subordinate. He preferred 
it, however, for the security it afforded ; and as in the course of 
nature he must soon resign his trust, there was more hope of his 
power descending to his posterity than if left to discord and 
faction. But when hostihties advanced against the freebooters, 
and the more settled governments of the Peshwa, Bhonsla, Holkar, 
and Sindhia, determined to shake off our yoke, we could urge to 
him irresistible arguments for a perfect identity of interests. The 
envoy had only to hint that the right of conquest would leave the 



1581 


DEATH OF MAHARAO UMMED SINGH 

districts he rented from Holkar at our disposal ; and that as we 
wanted no territory in Central India for ourselves, we should not 
forget our friends at the conclusion of hostUities. If ever there 
were doubts, they were dissipated by this suggestion ; and on the 
grand horde being broken up, it was discovered that the families 
of its leaders were concealed in his territory. Through his indirect 
aid we were enabled to secure them, and at once annihilated the 
strength of the marauders. For all these important services, the 
sovereignty of the four districts he rented from Holkar was 
guaranteed to the regent. The circumstances attending the 
conveyance of this gift afforded an estimate of Zalim’s determina- 
tion never to relinquish his authority ; for, when the sanad was 
tendered in his own name, he declined it, desiring the insertion of 
that of his master, the Maharao.” At the time, it appeared an 
act of disinterested magnanimity, but subsequent acts allowed 
us to form a more correct appreciation of his motives. The 
campaign concluded, and the noble commander and his en- 
lightened coadjutor ^ left the seat of war impressed with the 
conviction of the great ser\’ices, and the highest respect for the 
talents, of the veteran politician, while the envoy, who had acted 
with him during the campaign, was declared the medium of his 
future political relations. 

In March a.d. 1818, profound repose reigned from the Sutlej 
to the ocean, of which Rajput history presented no example. The 
magic Runes, by which the north-man could “ hush the stormy 
wave, ’ could not be more efficacious than the rod of our power in 
tranquiihzing this wide space, which for ages had been the seat 
of conflict. The satya [559] yuga, the golden age of the Hindu, 
alone afforded a parallel to the calm which had succeeded the eras 
of tumultuous effers^escence. 

Death of Maharao Ummed Singh. Disputed Succession. — Thus 
matters proceeded till November 1819, when the death of the 
Maharao Ummed Singh engendered new feelings in the claimants 
to the succession, and placed the regent in a position from which 
not even his genius might have extricated him, unaided by the 
power whose alliance he had so timely obtained. And here it 

^ I allude to Mr. Adam, who divided with the noble Marquess the entire 
merits of that ever memorable period. [John Adam, political secretary to 
the Marquess of Hastings (1779-1825) (C. E. Buckland, Diet. Indian Bio- 
graphy 



1582 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


becomes requisite to advert to the terms of this alliance. The 
treaty * was concluded at Delhi, on the 26th of December 1817, 
by the envoys of the regent, in the name of his lawful sovereign, 
the Maharao Ummed Singh, ratified by the contracting parties, 
and the deeds were interchanged at the regent’s court early in 
January. To this treaty his sovereign's seal and his own were 
appended ; but no guarantee of the regent's power was demanded 
pending the negotiation, nor is he mentioned except in the pre- 
amble, and then only as the ministerial agent of the Maharao 
Ummed Singh, in whose behalf alone the treaty was virtually 
executed. This excited the surprise of the British representative," 
who, in his official dispatch detailing the progress and conclusion 
of the negotiations, intimated that he not only expected such 
stipulation, but was prepared lor admitting it. There was no 
inadvertence in this omission ; the regent saw no occasion for 
any guarantee, for the plenary exercise of the powers of sovereign 
during more than half a eentury had constituted liim, de facto, 
prince of Kotah. Moreover, we may suppose had he felt a desire 
for such stipulation, that a feehng of pride might have stifled its 
expression, which by making the choice of ministers dependent 
on a foreign power would have virtually annulled the independent 
sovereignty of Kotah. Whatever was the reason of the omission, 
at a season when liis recognition might have had the same formal 
sanction of all the parties as the other articles of the treaty, it 
furnished the future opponents of the regent’s power with a 
strong argument against its maintenance in perpetuity on the 
death of the Maharao Ummed Singh. 

It has been already said that the treaty was concluded at 
Delhi in December 1817, and interchanged in January 1818. In 
March of the same year, two supplemental articles were agreed to 
at Delhi, and transmitted direct to the regent, guaranteeing the 
administration of affairs to his sons and successors for ever. 

Having premised so much, let us give a brief notice of tire 
parties, whose future fate was involved in this pohcy [560]. 

1 Copy of this is inserted in Appendix, No. VI., p. 1833. 

* C. T. Metcalfe, Esq., then resident at Delhi, now Sir C. T. Metcalfe, 
Bart., member of council in Bengal. [Sir Charles Metcalfe (1785-1846) : 
Eesidentat Delhi; Lieutenant-GovemorNorth-westem Provinces (1836-38); 
Governor of Jamaica (1839-42); Governor-General of Canada (1843— 45) ; 
raised to the peerage 1845 ; died 5th September 1846 (Buckland, op. cit. 
t.v . ; Life, and Correspondence by Sir J. W. Kaye, 1854).] 



DISPUTED SUCCESSION 


1583 


The Malmrao Unimed Singh had three sons, Kishor Singh, 
Bishan Singh, and Prithi Singh. The heir-apparent, who bore 
a name dear to the recollection of the Haras, was then forty 
years of age. He was mild in his temper and demeanour ; but 
being brought up in habits of seclusion, he was more conversant 
with the formulas of his religion, and the sacred epics, than with 
the affairs of mankind. He was no stranger to the annals of his 
family, and had sufficient pride and feeling to kindle at the 
recollection of their glory ; but the natural bent of his mind, 
reinforced by education, had well fitted him to follow the path 
of his father, and to leave himself and his country to be governed 
as best pleased the Nana Sahib,* the regent. 

Bishan Singh was about three years yoimger ; equally placid 
in disposition, sensible and sedate, and much attached to the 
regent. 

Prithi Singh was under thirty ; a noble specimen of a Hara, 
eager for action in the only career of a Rajput — arms. To him 
the existing state of things was one of opprobrium and dishonour, 
and his mind was made up to enfranchize himself and family 
from the thraldom in which his father had left them, or perish 
in the attempt. The brothers were attached to each other, and 
lived in perfect harmony, though suspicions did exist that Bishan 
Singh’s greater docility and forbearance towards the regent’s 
son and successor, arose from interested, perhaps traitorous, 
v-iews. Each of them had estates of twenty-five thousand rupees’ 
amiual rent, which they managed through their agents. 

The regent had two sons, the elder, Madho Singh, legitimate ; 
the younger, Gordhandas, illegitimate ; but he was regarded 
with more affection, and endowed with almost equal authority 
with the declared successor to the regency. Madho Singh was 
about forty-six at the period we speak of. A physiognomist 
would discover in his aspect no feature indicative of genius, 
though he might detect amidst traits which denoted indolence, 
a supercilious tone of character, the effect of indulgence. This 
was fostered in a great degree by the late Maharao, who supported 
the regent’s son against his own in all their dissensions, even 
from their infancy, which had increased the natural arrogance 

* This was the parental epithet always apphed to the regent by Ummed 
Singh and his sons, who it will be remembered nmgled some of the Jhala 
blood in their veins. Xana-sahib, ‘ sir grandsire.’ 



1584 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


developed by power being too early entrusted to him : for when 
the regent, as before related, quitted the capital for the camp, 
Madho Singh was nominated to the office of Faujdar, the heredi- 
tary post of his father, and left as his locum tenens at Kotah. 
This office, which included the command and pay of all the 
[561] troops, left unlimited funds at his disposal ; and as the 
checks which restrained every other officer in the State were 
inoperative upon his sons, who dared to inform against the 
future regent ? Accordingly, he indulged his taste in a manner 
which engendered dislike to him : his gardens, his horses, his 
boats, were in a style of extravagance calculated to provoke the 
envy of the sons of his sovereign ; while his suite eclipsed that 
of the prince himself. In short, he little regarded the prudent 
counsel of his father, who, in their metaphorical language, used to 
express his fears “ that when he was a himdred years old ” (i.e. 
dead), the fabric which cost a fife in rearing would fall to pieces. 

Gordhandas,^ the natural son of the regent, was then about 
twenty-seven,^ quick, lively, intelligent, and daring. His conduct 
to his sovereign’s family has been precisely the reverse of his 
brother’s, and in consequence he lived on terms of confidential 
friendship with them, especially with the heir-apparent and 
prince, Prithi Singh, whose disposition corresponded with his 
own. His father, who viewed this cliiJd of his old age with 
perhaps more affection than his elder brother, bestowed upon 
him the important office of Pardhan, which comprehends the 
grain-department of the State. It gave him the command of 
funds, the amount of which endangered the declared succession. 
The brothers cordially detested each other, and many Indignities 
were east upon Gordhaiidas by Madho Singh, such as putting 
him in the guard, which kindled an irreconcilable rancour between 
them. Almost the only frailty in the character of the regent 
was the defective education of his sons : both were left to the 
indulgence of arrogant pretensions, which iU accorded with the 
tenor of his own behaviour through life, or the conduct that was 
demanded of them. Dearly, bitterly has the regent repented 

^ Anglice, ‘the slave of Gordhan,’ one of the names of Krishna tjie 
tutelary divinity of the regent. 

^ Let me again remind the reader that this was written in 1820-21 ; 
for many reasons, the phraseology and chronology of the original MS. are 
retained. 



DISPUTED SUCCESSION: PARTIES AT KOTAH 1585 


this CMor, which in its consequence has thrown the merits of an 
active and difficult career into the shade, and made him regret 
that his power was not to die with hin. 

Such was the state of parties and politics at Kotah in November 
1819, when the death of the Maharao developed views that had 
long been concealed, and that produced the most deplorable 
results. The regent was at the Chhaoni, his standing camp at 
Gagraun, when this event occurred, and he immediately repaired 
to the capital, to see that the last offices were properly performed, 
and to proclaim the an, or oath of allegiance, and the accession 
of the Maharao lUshor Singh [502]. 

Th# Political Agent received the intelligence^ on his march 
from Marwar to Mewar, and immediately addressed his govern- 
ment on the subject, requesting instructions. Meanwhile, after 
a few days’ halt at Udaipur, he repaired to Kotah to observe the 
state of parties, whose animosities and expectations were fore- 
bodings of a change which menaced the guaranteed order of 
things. On his arrival, he found the aged regent, stiU a stranger 
to the luxury of a house, encamped a mile beyond the city, with 
his devoted bands around him ; while his son, the heir to his 
power, continued in his palace in the town. The prince and 
brothers, as heretofore, resided at the palace in the castle, where 
they held their coteries, of which Gordhandas and Prithi Singh 
were the principals, moulding the new Maharao to their will, 
and from which the second brother, Bishan Singh, was excluded. 
Although the late prince had hardly ceased to breathe, before the 
animosities so long existing between the sons of the regent burst 

^ The following is a translation of the letter written by the regent, 
announcing the decease of his master, dated 1st Safar, a.h. 1235, or November 
21, 1819 

“ Until Simday, the eve of the 1st Safar, the health of the Maharao 
Ummed Singh was perfectly good. About an hour after sunset, he went 
to worship Sri Brajnathji [Lord of Braj or Mathura]. Having made six 
prostrations, and while performing the seventh, he fainted and remained 
totally insensible. In this state he was removed to his bed-chamber, when 
every medical aid weis given, but unavailingly ; at two in the morning he 
departed for heaven. 

“ Such affliction is not reserved even for a foe ; but what refuge is there 
against the decree ? You are our friend, and the honour and welfare of 
those whom the Maharao has left behind are now in your hands. The 
Maharao Kishor Singh, eldest son of the Maharao deceased, has been placed 
upon the throne. This is written for the information of friendship.” 



1586 ANNALS OF HAILWATI : KOTAH 

forth, and threatened ‘ war within the gates ’ ; and although 
nothing short of the recovery of rights so long in abeyance was 
determined upon by the prince ; yet — and it will hardly be 
believed — these schemes escaped the vigilance of the regent. 

The death of his friend and sovereign, added to care and 
infirmity, brought on a fit of illness, the result of which was 
expected to crown the hopes of the parties who were interested 
in the event ; and when, to their surprise and regret, he recovered, 
the plans of his prince and natural son were matured, and as 
notorious as the sun at noon to every person of note but the 
regent hmiself. He was not, indeed, the first aged ruler, however 
renowned for wisdom, who had been kept in ignorance of the 
cabals of his family. It required a prophet to announce to 
David the usurpation of Adonijah ; ^ and the same cause, which 
kept David ignorant that Ins son had supplanted him, concealed 
from the penetrating eye of Zalim Singh the plot wliich had for 
its object that his power should perish with him, and that Iris son 
Gordhan should supersede [563] the heir to his hereditary staff 
of office. Strange as it must appear, the British Agent acted the 
part of Nathan on tliis occasion, and had to break the intelligence 
to the man who had swayed for sixty years, with despotic 
authority, the destinies of Kotah, that his sons were arming 
against each other, and that his prince was determined that his 
wand (chhari) of power should (to speak in their metaphorical 
style) be consumed in the same pyre with himself whenever the 
■ decree of Bhagsvan ’ went forth. 

It was then that the supplemental articles, guaranteehig 
Madho Singh in the succession to the regency, proved a stumbhng- 
block in the path of our mediation between parties, the one called 
on to renounce that dear-bought power, the other determined to 
regain what time and accident had wTested from him. Had the 
emergency occurred while the predatory system was predominant, 
not a whisper would have been raised ; the point in aU probabihty 
would never have been mooted : it would have been considered 
as a matter of course, where 

Amurath to Amurath succeeds. 


^ “ Nathan spake unto Bathsheba, ‘ hast thou not heard that Adonijah, 
the son of Haggith, doth reign, and David our Lord knoweth it not 1 ’ ” 
[ 1 Kings i. H.] 


DISPUTED SUCCESSION 


1587 


that the Maharao Kishor should continue the same puppet in the 
hands of Madho Singh that his father had been in Zalim’s. This 
would have excited no surprise, nor would such a proceeding have 
V- afl'orded speculation for one hour. Nay, the usurper might have 
advanced to the ulterior step ; and, like the Frairk Maire du 
Palais,' have demanded of the pontiff of Nathdwara, as did Pepin 
of Pope Zacharias, “ whether he who had the power, should not 
also have the title, of king ” ; * and the same plenary indulgence 
I would have awaited the first Jhala Raja of Kotah as was granted 
to the first of the Carlovingian kings ! It, therefore, became a 
matter of astonishment, especially to the unreflecting, whence 
arose the general sympathy, amounting to enthusiasm, towards 
this hitherto disregarded family, not only from chief and peasant, 
^ within the bomids of Ilaraoti, and the foreign mercenary army 
** raised and maintained by the regent, but from the neighbouring 
princes and nobles, who had hitherto looked upon the usurpation 
in silence. 

A short explanation will solve what was then enigmatical, even 
to those most interested in forming a just opinion. The practice 
„ of the moral virtues amongst any portion of civilized society may 
^ be uncertain, but there is one invariable estimate or standard of 
them in theory. The policy of 1817 changed the moral with the 
political [564J aspect of Rajasthan. If, previous thereto, no 
voice was raised against usurpation and crime, it was because 
all hope that their condition could be amehorated was extinct. 
But this was to them a naya sanivat, a ‘ new era,’ a day of universal 
regeneration. Was the sovereign not to look for the restoration 
of that power which had been guaranteed by treaty — nor the 
chiefs to claim the restitution ot their estates — nor the peasant 
to hope for the lands now added to the crown domain ; and were 
not all foreign potentates interested in calling for an example 
of retributive justice for ministerial usurpation, however mildly 
exercised towards the prince ? With more rational than pohtical 
argument, they appealed to our high notions of public justice to 
accomphsh these objects. Unhappy position, in which circum- 
stances — nay, paradoxical as it may appear, pohtical gratitude 

" ^ Such was the question propounded, and answered as Pepin expected, 

regarding the deposal of Childeric 111., the last of the Merovingian race. 
[Pope Zacharias (a.d. 741-52), by whose sanction Boniface crowned Pippin 
King of the Pranks at Soissons.] 



1588 


ANNALS OF IlARAVATI: KOTAH 


and justice — dictated a contrary course, and marshalled British 
battalions in hne with the retainers of usurpation to combat the 
lawful sovereign of the country ! The case was one of the most 
diffleult that ever beset our policy in the East, which must always 
to a certain extent be adapted to the condition of those with 
whom we come in contact ; and perhaps, on this occasion, 
no caution or foresight could have averted the effects of tliis 
aUiance. 

Eiffects Oi the British Treaty. — There is not a shadow of doubt 
that the supplemental articles of the treaty of Kotah, which ^ 
pledged our faith to two parties in a manner which rendered its 
maintenance towards both an impossibihty, produced conse- 
quences that shook the confidence of the people of Rajwara in 
our political rectitude. They established two pageants instead 
of one, whose co-existence would have been miraculous ; still, * 
as a measure ought not to be judged entirely by its results, 
we shall endeavour to assign the true motive and character of 
the act. 

If these articles were not dictated by good policy ; if they 
cannot be defended on the plea of expediency ; if the omission 
in the original treaty of December could not be supphed in March, 
without questioning the want of foresight of the framer ; he 
might justify them on the ground that they were a concession to 
feelings of gratitude for important services, rendered at a moment 
when the fate of our power in India was involved to an extent 
unprecedented since its origin. To effect a treaty with the 
Nestor of Rajwara, was to ensure alliances with the rest of the 
States, wliich object was the very essence of Lord Hastings' 
pohcy. Thus, on general views, as well as for particular reasons 
(for the resources of Kotah were absolutely indispensable), the 
co-operation of the regent was a measure vitally important. 

Still it may be urged tfiat as the regent himself, from whatever 
motive, had allowed [565] the time to go by when necessity 
might have compelled us to incorporate such an article in the 
original treaty, was there no other mode of reimbursing these 
services besides a guarantee which was an apple of discord ? 

The war was at an end ; and we might with justice have urged 
that ‘ the State of Kotah,’ with which we had treated, had, in 
the destruction of all the powers of anarchy and sharing in its 
spoils, fully reaped the reward of her services. Such an argiunent 


EFFECTS OF THE BRITISH TREATY 


1589 


would doubtless have been diplomatically just ; but we were 
still revelling in the excitement of unparalleled success, to which 
Zalim had been no mean contributor, and the future evil was 
overlooked in the feverish joy of the hour. But if cold expediency 
may not deem this a sufficient justification, we may find other 
reasons. When the author of the policy of 1817 had maturely 
adjusted his plans for the union of all the settled governments 
in a league against the predatory system, it became necessary 
to adopt a broad principle with respect to those with whom we 
had to treat. At such a moment he could not institute a patient 
investigation into the moral discipline of each State, or demand 
of those who wielded the power by what tenure they held their 
authority. It became, therefore, a matter of necessity to recog- 
f* nize those who were the rulers de facto, a principle which was 
publicly promulgated and universally acted upon. Whether we 
should have been justified in March, when all our wishes had been 
consummated, in declining a ])roposal which we would most 
gladly have submitted to in December, is a question which we 
shall leave diplomatists to settle,'^ and proceed to relate the 
^ result of the measure. 

The counsellors of the new Maharao soon expounded to him 
the terms of the treaty, and urged him to demand its fulfilment 
according to its literal interpretation. The politic deference, 
which the regent had invariably shown to the late prince, was 
turned skilfullj' into an offensive weapon against him. They 
triumphantly appealed to the tenth article of the treaty, “ the 
" Maharao, his heirs and successors, shall remain absolute rulers 
of their country ” ; and demanded how we could reconcile our 
subsequent determination to guarantee Madho Singh and his 
heirs in the enjoyment of power, which made him de facto the 
prince, and “ reduced the gaddi of Kotah to a simple heap of 
eotton ? ” — with the fact before our eyes, that the seals of all 

^ The overture for these supplementary articles, in all probability, 
originated not with the regent, but with the son. Had the Author (who 
was then the medium of the political relations with Kotah) been consulted 
regarding their tendency, he was as well aware then as now, what he ought 
^ to have advised. Whether his feelings, alike excited by the grand work 
in which he bore no mean part, would have also clouded his judgment, 
it were useless to discuss. It is sufficient, in all the spirit of candour, to 
suggest such reasons as may have led to a measure, the consequences of 
which have been so deeply lamented. 


1590 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


the contracting parties were to the original treaty, but that of the 
supplemental artieles the late Maharao died in absolute ignor- 
anee [566]. 

All friendly intercourse between the prinee and the regent, 
and consequently with Madho Singh, was soon at an end, and 
every effort was used whereby the political enfranchisement of 
the former could be accomplished. The eloquence of angels 
must have failed to check such hopes, still more to give a contrary 
interpretation to the simple language of the treaty, to which, 
with a judicious pertinacity, they confined themselves. It would 
be useless to detail the various occurrences pending the reference 
to our Government. The prince would not credit, or affected 
not to credit, its determination, and founded abundant and not 
easily-refutable arguments upon its honour and justice. When 
told that its instructions were, “ that no pretensions of the 
titular Raja can be entertained by us in opposition to our positive 
engagement with the regent ; that he alone was considered as 
the head of the Kotah State, and the titular Raja no more deemed 
the ruler of Kotah, than the Raja of Satara the leader of the 
lilahrattas, or the Great Mogid the emperor of Hindustan,” the 
!Maharao shut his ears against the representation of the Agent, 
and professed to regard the person who could compare his case 
to others so little parallel to it, as his enemy. AMiile his brother, 
Prithi Singh, and Gordhandas formed part of the council of 
Kishor Singh, it was impossible to expect that hd would be 
brought to resign himself to his destiny ; and he was speedily 
given to understand that the removal of both from his councils 
was indispensable. 

Outbreak at Kotah. — But as it was impossible to effect this 
without escalading the castle, in which operation the prince, in 
all human probability, might have perished, it was deemed advis- 
able to blockade it and starve them into surrender. When 
reduced to extremity, the Maharao took the determination of 
trusting his cause to the country, and placing himself at the head 
of a band of five himdred horse, chiefly Haras, with the tutelary 
deity at his saddle-bow, with drums beating and colours flying, 
he broke through the blockade. Fortunately, no instructions had 
been given for resistance, and his cavalcade passed on to the 
southward unmolested. As soon as the movement was reported, 
the Agent hastened to the regent's camp, which he found in 


OUTBREAK AT KOTAH 


1591 


confusion ; and demanded of the veteran what steps he had taken, 
or meant to take, to prevent the infection spreading. His conduct, 
at such a crisis, was most embarrassing. Beset by scruples, real 
or affected, the Agent could only obtain ill-timed if not spurious 
declarations of loyalty ; “ that he would cling to his sovereign’s 
skirts, and chakari kar (serve him) ; that he would rather retire 
to Nathdwara, than blacken his face by any treason towards his 
master.” Rejoiced at the mere hint of a sentiment which afforded 
the least presage of the only [567] mode of cutting the Gordian 
knot of our policy, the Agent eagerly replied, “ there was no 
earthly bar to his determination, which he had only to signify ” ; 
but abhorring duplicity and cant at such a moment, when action 
of the most decisive kind was required, and apprehensive of the 
consequences of five hundred unquiet spirits being thrown loose 
on a society so lately disorganized, he hastily bid the veteran 
adieu, and galloped to overtake the prince’s cavalcade. He foxmd 
it bivouacked at the Rangbari,* a country-seat six miles south 
of the capital. His followers and their horses, intermingled, were 
scattered in groups outside the garden-wall ; and the prince, his 
chiefs, and ad%isers, were in the palace, deliberating on their 
future operations. There was no time for ceremony ; and he 
reached the assembly before he could be annotmeed. The rules 
of etiquette and courtesy were not lost even amidst impending 
strife ; though the greeting was short, a warm expostulation with 
the prince and the chiefs was delivered with rapidity ; and the 
latter were warned that their position placed them in direct 
enmity to the British Government, and that, without being 
enabled to benefit their sovereign, they involved themselves in 
destruction. The courtesy which these brave men had a right 
to was changed into bitter reproof, as the Agent turned to Gk)rd- 
handas, whom he styled a traitor to his father, and from whom 
his prince could expect no good, guided as he was solely by 
interested motives, and warned him that punishment of no 
common kind awaited him. His hand was on his sword in an 
instant ; but the action being met by a smile of contempt, and 
his insolent replies passing unheeded, the Agent, turning to the 
prince, implored him to reflect before the door would be closed 
to accommodation ; pledging himself, at the same time, to every- 
thing that reason and his position could demand, except the 
' [‘ The Garden of Enjoyment.’] 



1592 ANNALS OP HARAVATI : KOTAH 

surrender of the power of the regent, which our public faith 
compelled us to maintain ; and that the prince’s dignity, comforts, 
and happiness, should be sedulously consulted. lATiile he was 
wavering, the Agent called aloud, “ The prince's horse ! ” and 
taking his arm, Kishor Singh suffered himself to be led to it, 
observing as he mounted, “ I rety implicitly on your friendship.” 
Ilis brother, Prithi Singh, spoke ; the chiefs maintained silence ; 
and the impetuosity of Gordhan and one or two of the coterie was 
unheeded. The Agent rode side by side with the prince, sur- 
rounded by his bands, in perfect silence, and in this way they re- 
entered the castle, nor did the Agent quit him till he replaced 
him on his gaddi, when he reiterated his expressions of desire for 
his welfare, but urged the necessity of his adapting his conduct 
to the imperious circumstances of his position ; and intimated 
that both his brother and Gordhandas must be removed from 
his person, the latter altogether from [568] Haraoti. This w’as 
in the middle of 5Iay ; and in June, after the public deporta- 
tion of Gordhandas as a state-criminal to Delhi, and ample 
provision being made for the prince and every member of his 
family, a public reconciliation took place between him and the 
regent. 

Reconciliation of Maharao Kishor Singh with Zalim Singh — 

The meeting partook of the nature of a festival, and produced a 
spontaneous rejoicing, the popiUace, with the loudest acclama- 
tions. crowding every avenue to the palace by which the regent 
and his son were to pass. The venerable Zalim appeared like 
their patriarch ; the princes as disobedient children suing for 
forgiveness. They advanced bending to embrace his knees, whilst 
he, vainly attempting to restrain this reverential salutation to 
his age and to habit, endeavoured by the same lowly action to 
show his respect to his sovereign. Expressions, in keeping with 
such forms of affection and respect, from the Maharao, of honour 
and fidelity from the ‘ guardian of his father ’ and himself, were 
exchanged with aU the fervour of apparent sincerity. Anomalous 
condition of human affairs ! strange perversity, which prevented 
this momentary illusion from becoming a permanent reality ! 

Re-installatioix of Kishor Singh.— This much-desired reconcilia- 
tion was followed on the 8th ofSawan, orlTth August a.d. 1820, by 
the solemnities of a public instaUation of the Maharao on the gadk 
of his ancestors : a pageantry which smoothed all asperities for 



RE-INSTALMENT OF MAHARAO KISHOR SINGH 1593 

the time, and, in giving scope to the munificence of the regent, 
afforded to the mass, who judge only by the surface of things, 
a theme for approbation. We leave for another place ^ the details 
of this spectacle ; merely observing that the representative of the 
British Government was the first (following the priest) to make 
the tika, or unction of sovereignty ^ on the forehead of the prince ; 
and having tied on the jewels, consisting of aigrette, necklace, and 
bracelets, he girded on, amidst salutes of ordnance, the sword of 
investiture. The Maharao, with an appropriate speech, presented 
one hundred and one gold mohiirs, as the nazar or fine of relief, 
j)rofessing his homage to the British Government. At the same 
time, a khilat, or dress of honour, was presented, in the name of 
the Governor- General of India, to the regent, for which he made 
a suitable acknowledgment, and a nazar of twenty-five gold 
mohurs. 

Madho Singh then fulfilled the functions of hereditary Faujdar, 
making the tika, girding on the sword, and presenting the gift of 
accession, which was returned by [569] the Maharao presenting 
to Madho Singh the khilat of idtimate suecession to the regency : 
the grand difficulty to overcome, and which originated all these 
differences. The Agent remained an entire month after the 
ceremony, to strengthen the good feeling thus begun ; to adapt 
the Maharao's mind to the position in which an imperious destiny 
had placed him ; and also to impress on the successor to the 
regency the dangerous responsibility of the trust which a solemn 
treaty had guaranteed, if by his supineness, want of feeling, or 
misconduct, it were violated. On the 4th of September, previous 
to leaving Kotah, the Agent was present at another meeting of all 
the parties, when there was as much appearance of cordiality 
manifested as could be expected in so difficult a predicament. 
The old regent, the Maharao, and Madho Singh, joined hands in 
reciprocal forgiveness of the past, each uttering a solemn assevera- 
tion that he would cultivate harmony for the future. 

It was on this occasion that the regent performed two 
deliberate acts, which appear suitable accompaniments to the 

^ The details of this ceremony will be given in the Personal Narrative. 

^ ‘ Anointing ’ appears to have been, in all ages, the mode of installa- 
tion. The unguent on this occasion is of sandalwood and itr of roses made 
into a paste, or very thick ointment, of which a little is placed upon the 
forehead with the middle finger of the right hand. 

VOL. Ill 


Z 



1594 ANNAI.S OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 

close of his political life, both as respects his prince and his sub- 
jects. He had prepared a covenant of surety for his old and 
faithful servants after his death, demanding the Maharao’s, his 
son Madho Singh’s, and the Agent’s signatures thereto, stipulating ■* 
that “ if his successor did not choose to employ their services, 
they should be free agents, be called to no account for the past, 
but be permitted to reside wherever they pleased.” The Maharao 
and Madho Singh having signed the deed, the British Agent, at 
the desire of the regent, placed his signature as a guarantee for 
its execution. In tliis act, we not only have proof that to the - * 
last the regent maintained the supremacy of his master, but 
evidence of the fears he entertained respecting the conduct of 
his successor. 

Reforms in Taxation. — The other act was a brilliant victory 
over the most inveterate habits of his age and country, — the 
revocation of dand, or forced contributions, throughout the 
dominion of Kotah. This spontaneous abolition of a practice so 
deeply rooted in Rajasthan, is another proof of the keen penetra- 
tion of the regent, and of his desire to conciliate the opinions of 
the protecting power, as to the duties of princes towards their 
subjects; duties regarding which, as he said, "theoretically ice 
are not ignorant ” ; and on which he has often forcibly descanted 
before his son, whilst laying down rules of conduct when he shoidd 
be no more. At such moments, he entered fully and with energy 
into his own conduct ; condemning it ; pointing out its inevitable 
results, and the benefits he had observed to attend an opposite 
course of action. ” My word, son, was not worth a copper,” be «-•" 
would saj- ; " but now nobody W'ould refuse anything to old f 
Zalim.” It [570] was, therefore, as much from a conviction of 
the benefit to himself and the State which would attend the 
renuneiation of this tax, as with a view of courting golden opinion, . 
that he commanded a stone to be raised in the chief town of every ▼ 
district of his country, on w'hich was inscribed the edict of per- 
petual abolition of dand, with the denunciation of eternal venge- 
ance on whoever should revoke it. The effigies of the sun, the 
moon, the cow and the hog, animals reverenced or execrated by 
all classes, were carved in relief, to attest the imprecation. ^ 

Such was the pacific termination of a contest for authority, 
which threatened to deluge Kotah with blood. MTiether we had 
a right to hope that such high and natural pretensions could rest 



BANISHMENT OF GORDHANDAS 


1595 


satisfied with the measures of conciliation and concession that 
were pursued, the sequel -will disclose to those who judge only by 
results. 


CHAPTER 11 

Banishment of Gordhandas. — The sole measure of severity 
which arose out of these commotions was exercised on the natural 
son of the regent, who was banished in the face of open day from 
the scene of his turbulent intrigue. Gordhandas, or, as his father 
styled him, ‘ Gordhanji,’ was the ‘ child of love ’ and of his old 
age, and to his mother the regent, it is said, felt the most ardent 
attachment. The ])erpetual banishment of this firebrand was 
essential to tranquillity ; yet, notwithstanding his misdeeds, 
political and filial, it was feared that the sentiments of the Jewish 
monarch, rather than the sternness of the Roman father, would 
have influenced the Rajput regent, whose bearing, when [571] 
the sentence of cofidemnation was enforced, was to be regarded as 
the test of a suspicion that the iMaharao had been goaded to his 
course through this channel by ulterior views which he dared not 
opanly promulgate. But Zalim's fiat was worthy of a Roman, 
and sufficed to annihilate sus)}icion — “ Let the air of Haraoti 
never more be tainted by his presence.” Dellii and Allahabad 
were the cities fixed upon, from which he was to select his future 
residence, and unfortunately the first was chosen. Here he 
resided with his family upon a pension sufficiently liberal, and had 
a raftge abundantly excursiv'e for exercise, attended by some 
horsemen furnished by the British local authority. 

About the close of 1821, permission was imprudently granted 
to the exile to visit Jlalwa, to fulfil a marriage-contract with an 
illegitimate daughter of the chieftain of Jhabua.^ Scarcely had 
he set his loot in that town, when symptoms of impatience, in 
lieu of perfect tranquillity, began to be visible at Kotah, and a 
correspondence both there and at Bundi was hardly detected, 
before a spirit of revolt was reported to have infected the tried 
veterans of the regent. Saif Ali, the commander of the ‘ Royals ’ 
(Raj Paltan), an officer of thirtj' years’ standing, distinguished 

1 [Jhabua, in Bhopawar Agency, Central India (IGI, xiv. 104 S.).] 


1596 


ANNALS OF IIARAVATI: KOTAH 


for his zeal, fidelity, and gallantry, was named as having been 
gained over to the cause of his nominal sovereign. This was 
looked upon as a slander ; but too wise entirely to disregard it. 
the regent interposed a force between the disaffected battalion 
and the castle, which brought the matter to issue. The Maharaii 
immediately proceeded by water, and conveyed Saif Ali and a 
part of his battalion to the palace ; which was no sooner reported, 
than the blind regent put himself into his litter, and headed a 
force with which he attacked the remainder, while two twenty, 
four pounders, mounted on a eavalier, which commanded not only 
every jiortion of the city, but the country on both sides the 
Chambal, played upon the castle. In the midst of this firing 
(probably unexpected), the Maharao, his brother Prithi Singh, 
and their adherents, took to boat, crossed the river, and retired to 
Bundi, while the remainder of the mutinous ‘ Royals ’ laid down 
their arms. By this energetic conduct, the new attempt upon his 
power was' dissolved as soon as formed, and the gaddi of the Haras 
was abandoned. Bishan Singh escaped from his brothers in 
the midst of the fray, and joined the regent, whose views regard- 
ing him, in this crisis, however indirectly manifested, could not 
be mistaken ; but our system of making and unmaking kings in 
these distant regions, though it may have enlarged our power, 
had not added to our reputation ; and the Agent had the most 
rooted repugnance to sanction the system in the new range of our 
alliances, however it might have tended to allay the discord [572] 
which prevailed, or to free the paramount power from the em- 
barrassment in which its diplomatic relations had placed it, and 
from whence there was no escape without incurring the too just 
reproach of violating the conditions we had imposed. Common 
decency forbade our urging the only plea we could in forming the 
treaty, namely, our considering the prince as a mere phantom ; 
and if we had been bold enough to do so, the reply would have 
been the same : “ Why did you treat with a phantom ? ” while 
he would have persisted in the literal interpretation of the 
bond. 

British Intervention. — There was but one way to deal with the 
perplexity — to fulfil the spirit of the treaty, by which public 
peace would be ensured. Instructions were sent to the prince 
of Bundi, that there was no restraint upon his performing the rites 
of hospitality and kindred to the fugitive princes, but that he 


BRITISH INTERVENTION 


1597 


would be personally responsible if he permitted them to congregate 
troops for the purpose of hostility against the regent : while, at 
the same time, the commander of the British troops at Nimach 
was desired to interpose a light corps on the line of Jhabua and 
Bundi, and to capture Gordhandas, dead or alive, if he attempted 
to join the Maharao. He, however, contrived, through the in- 
tricacies of the plateau, to elude the well-arranged plan ; but 
finding that the prince of Bundi had the same determination, he 
made direct for Marwar, where being also denied an asylum, he 
had no alternative but to return to Delhi, and to a more strict 
surveillance. Tliis, however, may have been concerted ; for soon 
after, the Maharao broke ground from Bundi, giving out a pilgrim- 
age to Brindaban ; ^ and it was hoped that the tranquillity and 
repose he would find amidst the fanes of his tutelary deity, 
Brajnathji, might tempt a mind prone to religious seclusion, to 
pass Ms days there. While he remained at Bundi, public opinion 
was not at all manifested ; the distance was trifling to Kotah, 
and being with the head of his race, the act was deemed only one 
of those hasty ebullitions so conmron in those countries, and which 
would be followed by reconciliation. But as soon as the prince 
moved northward, expectation being excited that his cause would 
meet attention elsewhere, he had letters of sympathy and con- 
dolence from every cMef of the country, and the customary 
attentions to sovereignty were paid by those through whose 
States he passed, with the sole exception of that most contiguous 
to our provinces, Bharatpur. The prince of tMs celebrated place 
sent a deputation to the frontier, excusing himself on account of 
his age and blindness ; but the Hara prince, knowing what was 
due from a Jat zemindar, however favoured by the accessions 
of fortune, repelled with disdain both his gifts and Ms mis- 
sion. For tMs haughtj’, though not unbecoming maintenance 
of precedent, the [573] Maharao was warned off the bounds of 
Bharatpur. Having remained some time among the ‘ groves of 
Vraja,’ there was reason to believe that the canticles of Jayadeva 
had rendered an earthly crown a mere bauble in the eyes of the 
abdicated Hara, and that the mystical effusions of Kanhaiya and 
Radha had eradicated all remembrance of the rhapsodies of Chand, 
and the glories of the Chauhan : he was accordingly left at dis- 

1 [A British oautoninent in Gwalior State (IGI, xix. 105 f.).] 

^ [In the Mathura District, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.] 



1598 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


cretion to wander where he listed. As it was predicted, he soon 
felt the difference between his past and present mode of life, 
surrounded by a needy crew in a strange land ; and towards the 
middle of April he had reached Muttra, on his return from Brinda- 
ban to Kotah. But his evil genius, in the shape of Gordliandas, 
had destined this should not be ; and notwithstanding the 
rigorous surveillance, or, in fact, imprisonment, which had been 
enjoined, this person found an opportunity to carry on cabals 
with natives of high rank and office. 

The MahMM marches on Kotah. — Intrigues multiplied, and 
false hopes were inspired through these impure channels, which 
were converted by his corrupt emissaries into fountain-heads of 
political control, superseding the only authorized medium of 
communication between the misguided prince and the paramount 
power. Accordingly, having collected additional troops about 
him, he commenced his march to Haraoti, giving out to the chiefs 
through whose dominions he passed, that he was returning by 
the consent of the paramount power for the resumption of all his 
sovereign rights, so long in abeyance. Men with badges in his 
train, belonging to the persons alluded to, and an agent from the 
native treasurer of Delhi, who supplied the prince with funds, gave 
a colour of truth which deceived the country, and produced ardent 
expressions of desire for his success. As he proceeded, this force 
increased, and he reached the Chambal, towards the close of the 
monsoon 1821, with about three thousand men. Having crossed 
the river, he issued liis summons in a language neither to be mis- 
understood nor disobeyed by a Rajput ; he conjured them by their 
allegiance to join his cause, “ that of seeking justice according to 
the treaty ” : and the caU was obeyed by every Hara of the 
country. His conduct afforded the most powerful illustration of 
the Rajput’s theory of fidelity, for even those closely connected 
by ties of blood and by every species of benefit, withdrew from 
the regent, to whom they owed everything, in order to join their 
hereditary and lawful prince, whom some had never seen, and of 
whom they knew nothing. Negotiation, and expostulation the 
most solemn and earnest on the personal dangers he was incurring, 
were carried on, and even public tranquillity was hazarded, rather 
than have recourse to the last argument, which was the less 
necessary, as universal peace [574] reigned around us, and the 
means of quelling revolt were at hand. An entire month was 



THE MAHArAO marches ON KOTAH 


1590 


thus consumed : but the ultimatum ‘ left no means of putting 
a stop to increasing disorders but that appeal which from various 
considerations had been so long delayed. 

The tried troops of the regent could not be depended on ; he 

^ Letter of Maharao Kishor Singh^ accompanying counter-articles, 
presented to Capt. Tod, dated Asoj badi Pancliami, or 16th September, 

' Camp Miyana.’ 

(After compbments.) 

Cliaiid Khan has often expressed a desire to know what were my expecta- 
tions. These had been already sent to you by my wakils, Mirza Muhammad 
Ali Beg, and Lala Salik Ram. I again send you the Schedule of Articles. 
According to their purport you will act. Do me justice as the repre.sentative 
of the British Government, and let the master be as master, and the servant 
as servant ; this is the case everywhere else, and is not hidden from you. 
Articles, the fulfilment of which was demanded by Maharao Kishor 
Singh, and accorapan 3 dng his letter of 16th September. 

1. According to the treaty executed at Delhi, in the time of Maharao 

Ummed Singh, I will abide. 

2. I have every confidence in Kan.iji Zalim Singh ; m hke manner as 

he served Maharao Ummed Singh, so he will serve me. I agree 
to his administration of affairs; but between .Madho Singh and 
myself suspicions and doubts exist ; we can never agree ; there- 
fore, I will give him a jagir ; there let him remain. His son, 
Bapa Lai, shall remain with me, and in the same way as other 
ministers conduct State business before their princes, so shall he 
before me. I, the master, he, the servant ; and if as the servant 
he acts, it will abide from generation to generation. 

3. To the English Government, and other principalities, whatever 

letters are addressed shall be with my concurrence and advice. 

4. .Surety for his hfe, and also for mine, must be guaranteed by the 

English Government. 

o. 1 shall allot a jagir for Prithi .Singh (the JIaharao’s brother), at 
which he will reside. The establishments to reside with him and 
my brother Bishan Singh shall be of my nomination. Besides, 
to my kinsmen and clansmen, according to their rank, I shall 
give jagirs, and they shall, according to ancient usage, be in 
attendance upon me. 

6. My personal or Ichas guards, to the amount of three thousand, with 

Bapa L%1 (the regent's grandson) shall remain in attendance. 

7. The amount of the collections of the country- shah, all be deposited 

in the Kishau Bhandar (general treasury), and thence expenditure 
made. 

8. The Kiladars (command.rnts) of all the forts shall be appointed by 

me, and the army' shall be under my orders. He (the regent) 
may desire the officers of Government to execute his commands, 
but it shall be with my advice and sanction. 

These are the Articles I desire ; they are according to the rules for 
government {rajrit) — Mitti Asoj Panchami, S. 1878 (1822). 


1600 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


confessed it ; and in this confession, what an evidence is afforded 
of the nature of his rule, and of the homage to immutable justice 
in all parts of the world ! Every corps, foreign or indigenous, 
was ready to range on the side of legitimate authority against the 
hand which had fed and cherished them. So completely did this 
feeling pervade every part of the political fabric, that the regent 
himself said, in his forcible manner, on his escape from the danger, 

“ even the clothes on his back smelt of treason to him.” It was 
hoped that ” the wisdom which called aloud (even) in the streets ” mr 
would not be disregarded by the veteran ; that disgust at such 
marks of perfidy would make him spurn from him the-odium of 
usurpation, and thus free the paramount power from a situation 
the most painful and embarrassing. Abundant opportunities 
were afforded, and hints were given that he alone could cut the 
knot, which otherwise must be severed [575] by the sword. But 
all was fruitless : “ he stood upon his bond,” and the execution 
of the treaty. The Maharao, his nominal sovereign, took the 
same ground, and even sent a copy of the treaty to the Agent, 
tauntingly asking whether it was to be recognized or not. All 
this embarrassment would have been avoided, had the supple- ^ 
mental articles been embodied in the original treaty ; then the 
literal interpretation and its spirit would not have been at variance, 
nor have afforded a pretext to reproach the paramount power 
with a breach of faith and justice : charges which cannot in fact 
be supported, inasmuch as the same contracting parties, who 
executed the original document, amended it by this supplemental ^ 
deed. The dispute then resolves itself into a question of ex- 
pediency, already touched on, namely, whether we might not 
have pro\dded better for the future, and sought out other modes 
of reward for services we had acknowledged, than the maintenance 
of two pageants of sovereignty, both acknowledged, the one de 
facto, the other de jure. It was fortunate, however, that the ^ 
magnitude of the titular prince’s pretensions placed him com- 
pletely in opposition to the other contracting parties, inasmuch 
as he would not abide by either the spirit or the letter of the 
treaty or its supplement, in the most modified sense. His demand 
for “ a personal guard of three thousand of his kinsmen, that he 
might allot estates at pleasure to liis ehiefs, appoint the governors 
of fortresses, and be head of the army,” was a virtual repudiation 
of every principle of the affiance ; while the succession to the 



THE MAHARAO marches ON KOTAH 


1601 


administrative powers of the State, secured to the issue of the 
regent, was made to depend on his pleasure : rather a frail 
tenure whether in Europe or Rajputana. 

Everytliing that could be done to withdraw the infatuated 
prince from the knot of evil advisers and fiery spirits who daily 
flocked to his standard, carrying with them their own and their 
ancestors’ wrongs, being ineffectual and hopeless, the troops which 
had been called upon to maintain the treaty moved forward in 
combination with the army of the regent. As the force reached 
the Kali Sind, which alone divided the rivals for power, torrents 
of rain, which during sev’cra! days swelled it to an impassable 
flood, afforded more time to try all that friendship or prudence 
could urge to save the Maharao from the impending ruin. But 
all was vain ; he saw the storm, and invited its approach with 
mingled resolution and despair, proclaiming the most submissive 
obedience to the paramount power, and avowing a conviction of 
the good intentions and friendship of its representative ; but to 
every remonstrance he replied, " what was life without honour ; 
what was a sovereign without authority ? Death, or the full 
sovereignty of his ancestors ! ” [570]. 

The conduct of the regent was not less perplexing than that 
of the prince ; for while he affected still to talk of fealty, “ to 
preserve liis white beard from stain,’’ he placed before him the 
ample shield of the treaty, although he expected that his power 
should be maintained without any active measures on his own 
part for its defence : a degree of irresponsibility not for a moment 
to be tolerated. It was in vain he hinted at the spirit, more than 
doubtful, of his army ; that in the moment of conflict they might 
turn their guns against us ; even this he was told we would 
hazard : and, it was added, if he desired, at whatever cost, to 
preserve the power guaranteed to his family, he must act offen- 
sively as well as defensively ; for it woidd shortly be too late to 
talk of reconcihng fealty with the preservation of his power. The 
wily regent desired to have his work done for liim ; to have aU 
the benefit which the alliance compelled us to afford, with none 
of the obloquy it entailed. The Agent had some hope, even at 
the twelfth hour, that rather than incur the opprobrium of the 
world, and the penalty denounced against the violation of swami- 
dharma, in committing to the chance of battle the fives of all those 
to whom he was protector, he would draw back and compromise 



1602 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


his power ; but the betrayal of his half - formed designs in 
hypocritical cant adapted only for the multitude, soon dispelled 
the illusion ; and though there was a strong internal struggle, the 
love of dominion overcame every scruple. 

The combination of the troops was discussed in his presence 
and that of his officers ; and in order that unity of action might be 
ensured, a British officer was at his request attached to his force. ‘ 

Battle of Mangrol. — At daybreak on the 1st of October, the 
troops moved down to the attack.' The regent’s army consisted of 
eight battalions of infantry, with thirty-two pieces of cannon and 
fourteen strong paegahs, or squadrons of horse. Of these, five 
battalions, with fourteen pieces and ten squadrons, composed the 
advance ; while the rest formed a reserve with the regent in 
person, five hundred yards in the rear. The British troops, con- 
sisting of two weak battalions and six squadrons of cavalry, with 
a light battery of horse-artillerj', formed on the right of the 
regent's force as it approximated to the Maharao's position. The 
ground over which the troops moved was an extensive plain, 
gradually shelving to a small shallow stream, whence it again rose 
rather abruptly. The !Maharao’s camp was placed upon a rising 
ground, a short distance [577] beyond the stream : he left his 
tents standing, and had disposed his force on the margin of the 
rivulet. The ‘ Royals,' who had deserted their old master, with 
their leader, Saif Ali, were posted on the left ; the Maharao with 
the elite, a band of full five hundred Kara cavaliers, upon the 
right, and the interval was filled by a tumultuous rabble. The 
combined force was permitted to choose its position, within two 
hundred yards of- the foe, without the slightest demonstration of 
resistance or retreat. The Agent took advantage of the pause 
to Request the British commander to halt the whole line, in order 
that he might make a last attempt to withdraw the infatuated 
prince and his devoted followers from the perils that confronted 
them. He advanced midway between the lines, and offered the 
same conditions and an amnesty to all ; to conduct and replace 
the prince on the gaddi of his ancestors with honour. Yet, not- 

* Lieutenant M‘llillan, of the 5th Regt. Native Infantry, volunteered for 
this duty, and performed it as might have been expected from an officer 
of his gallantry and conduct. 

' [The battle was fought at Mangrol, on the left bank of the Parbati 
River, about 40 miles N.N.E. from Kotah city, on October 1, 1821.] 



THE BATTLE OF MANGROL 


1603 


withstanding ruin stared him in the face, he receded from none 
of his demands ; he insisted on the sine qua non, and would only 
re-enter Kotah surrounded by three thousand of his Hara kins- 
men. During the quarter of an hour allowed him to deliberate 
ere the sword should be drawn, movements in position on both 
sides took place ; the Maharao’s chosen band, condensing all 
their force on the right, opposed the regent’s advance, while the 
British troops formed so in echelon as to enfilade their dense 
masses. 

The time having expired, and not an iota of the pretensions 
being abated, the signal, as agreed upon, was given, and the action 
commenced by a discharge of cannon and firearms from the 
regent's whole line, immediately followed by the horse-artillery 
on the right. With all the gallantry that has ever distinguished 
the Haras, they acted as at Fatehabad and Dholpur, and charged 
the regent's line, when several were killed at the very muzzle of 
the guns, and but for the advance of three squadrons of British 
cavalry, would have turned his left flank, and probably penetrated 
to the reserve, where the regent was in person.' Defeated in this 
design, they had no resource but a precipitate retreat from the 
unequal conflict, and the Maharao, surroimded by a gol of about 
four hundred horse, all Haras, his kinsmen, retired across the 
stream, and halted on the rising ground about half a mile distant, 
while his auxiliary foot broke and dispersed in all directions. The 
British troops rapidly crossed the stream, and while the infantry 
made a movement to cut off [578] retreat from the south, two 
squadrons were commanded to charge the Maharao. Determined 
not to act offensively, even in this emergency he adhered to his 
resolution, and his band awaited in a dense mass and immovable 
attitude the troops advancing with rapidity against them, dis- 
daining to fly and yet too proud to jdeld. A British officer headed 
each troop ; they and those they led had been accustomed to see 
the foe fly from the shock ; but they were Pindaris, not Rajputs. 
The band stood like a wall of adamant ; our squadrons rebounded 
from the shock. lea\’ing two brave youths ' dead on the spot, and 

' The Author, who placed himself on the extreme left of the regent s 
line, to be a check upon the dubious conduct of his troops, particularly 
noted this intended movement, which was frustrated only by Major 
Kennedy's advance. 

- Lieutenants Clarke and Read, of the 4th Regt. Light Cavalry. 



1604 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


their gallant commander ^ was saved by a miracle, being stunned 
by a blow which drove in his casque, his reins cut, and the arm 
raised to give the coup de grdce, when a pistol-shot from his 
orderly levelled his assailant. The whole was the work of an 
instant. True to the determination he expressed, the Maharao, 
satisfied with repelling the charge, slowly moved off ; nor was it 
till the horse-artillery again closed, and poured round and grape 
into the dense body, that they quickened their retreat ; while, 
as three fresh squadrons had formed for the charge, they reached 
the makkai fields, amongst the dense crops of which they were lost. 

Death of Prithi Singh. — Prithi Singh, younger brother of the 
prince, impelled by that heroic spirit which is the birthright of a 
Kara, and aware that Haraoti could no longer be a home for him 
while living, determined at least to find a grave in her soil. He 
returned, with about flve-and-twenty followers, to certain destruc- 
tion, and was found in a field of Indian corn as the line advanced, 
aUve, but grievously wounded. He was placed in a litter, and, 
escorted by some of Skiimer’s horse, was conveyed to tlie camp. 
Here he was sedulously attended ; but medical skiU was of no 
avail, and he died the next day. His demeanour was dignified 
and manly ; he laid the blame upon destiny, expressed no wish 
for life, and said, looking to the tree near the tent, that *• his 
ghost would be satisfied in contemplating therefrom the fields of 
his forefathers.” His sword and ring had been taken from him 
by a trooper, but his dagger, pearl necklace, and other valuables, 
he gave in charge to the Agent, to whom he bequeathed the care 
of his son, the sole heir to the empty honours of the sovereignty 
of Kotah. 

It was not from any auxihary soldier that the prince received 
his death-wound ; it was inflicted by a lance, propelled with 
unerring force from behind, penetrating the lungs, the point 
appearing through the chest. He said it was a revengeful blow 
from some determined hand, as he felt the steeled point twisted 
in the woimd to ensure its [579] being mortal. Although the 
squadrons of the regent joined in the pursuit, yet not a man of 
them dared to come to close quarters with their enemy ; it was 
therefore supposed that some treacherous arm had mingled with 
his men, and inflicted the blow which reheved the regent from 
the chief enemy to his son and successor. 

1 Major (now Lt.-CoL) J. Bidge, C.B. 


DEVOTION OF TWO HARAS 1005 

The Maharao and his band were indebted for safety to the 
forest of corn, so thick, lofty, and luxuriant, that even his elephant 
was lost sight of. This shelter extended to the rivulet, only live 
miles in advance, which forms the boundary of Haraoti ; but it 
was deemed sufficient to drive him out of the Kotah territory, 
where alone his presence could be dangerous. The infantrj" and 
foreign levies, who had no moral courage to sustain them, fled 
for their lives, and many were cut to pieces by detached troops of 
^ our cavalry. 

The calm, undaunted valour of the Maharao and his kin could 
not fail to extort applause from those gallant minds which can 
admire the bravery of a foe, though few of those who had that day 
to confront them were aware of the moral courage which sustained 
■' their opponents, and which converted their vis ineriiae into an 
almost impassable barrier. 

Devotion of Two Haras. — But although the gallant conduct of 
the prince and his kin was in keeping with the valour so often 
recorded in these annals, and now, alas ! almost the sole in- 
heritance of the Haras, there was one specimen of devotion which 
^ we dare not pass over, comparable with whatever is recorded of 
the fabled traits of heroism of Greece or Rome. The physiography 
of the country has been already described : the plains, along which 
the combined force advanced, gradually shelved to the brink of a 
rivulet whose opposite bank rose perpendicularly, forming as it 
were the buttress to a tableland of gentle acclivity. The regent’s 
~ battalions were advancing in columns along this precipitous bank, 
when their attention was arrested by several shots fired from an 
isolated liiUock rising out of the plain across the stream. Without 
any order, but as by a simultaneous impulse, the whole line halted, 
to gaze at two audacious individuals, who appeared determined to 
make their mound a fortress. A minute or two passed in mute 
surprise, when the word was given to move on ; but scarcely was 
it uttered, ere several wounded from the head of the column were 
passing to the rear, and shots began to be exchanged very briskly, 
at least twenty in return for one. But the long matchlocks of the 
two heroes told every time in our lengthened line, while they 
- seemed to have ‘ a charmed life,’ and the shot fell hke hail around 
them innocuous, one continuing to load behind the mound, while 
the [580] other fired with deadly aim. .\t length, two twelve- 
pounders were unlimbered ; and as the shot whistled round their 



1606 


ANNALS OF IlARAVATI : KOTAH 


ears, botli rose on the very pinnacle of the mound, and made a 
profound salaam for this compliment to their valour ; which done, 
they continued to load and fire, whilst entire platoons blazed upon 
them. Although more men had suffered, an irresistible impulse 
was felt to save these gallant men ; orders were given to cease 
firing, and the force was directed to move on, unless any two 
indi^^duals chose to attack them manfully hand to hand. The 
words were scarcely uttered when two young Rohillas drew their 
swords, sprung down the bank, and soon cleared the space between 
them and the foenien. All was deep anxiety as they mounted 
to the assault ; but whetber their physical frame was less vigorous, 
or their energies were exhausted by wounds or by their jieculiar 
situation, these brave defenders fell on the mount, whence they 
disputed the march of ten battalions of infantry and twenty 
]}ieces of cannon.' They were Haras ! But Zalim was the cloud 
which interposed between them and their fortunes ; and to remove 
it, they courted the destruction which at length overtook them. 

The entire devotion which the vassalage of Haraoti manifested 
for the cause of the Maharao, exemplified, as before observed, the 
nature and extent of sicamidharma or fealty, which has been 
described as the essential quality of the Rajput character ; while, 
at the same time, it illustrates the severity of the regent's yoke. 
Even the chief who negotiated the treaty could not resist the 
defection (one of his sons was badly wounded), although he 
enjoyed estates under the regent which his hereditary rank did 
not sanction, besides being connected with him by marriage. 

The Maharao gained the Parbati, which, it is said, he sw'am 
over. He had scarcely reached the shore when his horse dropped 
dead from a grape-shot wound. With about three hundred horse 
he retired upon Baroda. We had no vengeance to execute ; we 
could not, therefore, consider the brave men, who abandoned their 
homes and their families from a principle of honour, in the light 
of the old enemies of our power, to be pursued and exterminated. 
They had, it is true, confronted us in the field ; yet only defen-. 
sively, in a cause at least morally just and seemingly sanctioned 
by authorities which they could not distrust. 

Reflections on the Outbreak. — The pretensions so long opposed 
to the treaty were thus signally and efficiently subdued. The 

' Lieut, (now Captain) M‘Millan and the Author were the only officers, 
I believe, who witnessed this singular scene. 



REFLECTIONS ON THE OUTBREAK 


1607 


chief instigators of the revolt were for ever removed, one by death, 
the other hy exile ; and the punishment wliich overtook the 
deserters from the regular [581] forces of the regent would check 
its repetition. Little prepared for the reverse of that day, the 
chiefs had made no provision against it, and at our word every 
door in Rajwara would have been closed against them. But it 
was not deemed a case for confiscation, or one which should 
involv'e in proscription a whole community, impelled to the com- 
mission of crime by a variety of circumstances which they could 
neither resist nor control, and to which the most crafty views had 
contributed.’ The Maharao's camp being left standing, all his 
correspondence and records fell into our hands, and developed 
such complicated intrigues, stich consummate knavery, that he, 
and the brave men who suffered from espousing his pretensions/ 
were regarded as entitled to every commiseration.^ As soon, there- 
fore, as the futility of their pretensions was disclosed, by the veil 
being thus rudely torn from their eyes, they manifested a deter- 
mination to submit. The regent was instructed to grant a 
complete amnesty, and to announce to the chiefs that they might 
repair to their homes without a question being put to them. In 
a few weeks, all was tranquillity and peace ; the chiefs and vassals 
returned to their families, who blessed the power which tempered 
punishment with clemency.^ 

1 111 a letter, addressed by some of the principal chiefs to the regent, 
through the Agent, they did not hesitate to say they had been guided in 
tlie course they adopted of obeying the summons of the Maharao, by Instruc- 
tions of his confidential minister. 

2 The native treasurer at Bellii, who conducted these intrigues, after 
a strict investigation was dismissed from his office ; and the same fate was 
awarded to the chief Munshi of the Persian secretary's office at the seat of 
government. Regular treaties and bonds were found in the camp of the 
Maharao, which afforded abundant condemnatory evidence against these 
confidential officers, who mainly produced the catastrophe we have to record, 
and rendered nugatoiy’’ the most strenuous efforts to save the misguided 
prince and his brave brethren. 

3 The Author, who had to perform the painful duty related in this detailed 
transaction, was alternately aided and embarrassed by his knowledge of 
the past history of the Haras, and the mutual relations of all its discord- 
ant elements. Perhaps, entire ignorance would have been better — a bare 
knowledge of the treaty, and the expediency of a rigid adherence thereto, 
unbiassed by sympathy, or notions of abstract justice, which has too little 
in common with diplomacy. But without overlooking the colder dictates 
of duty, he determined that the aegis of Britain should not be a shield of 



1608 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


The Maharao continued his course to Nathdwara in Mewar, 
provung that the sentiment of religious abstraction alone can 


oppression, and that tlie remains of Hara independence, which cither policy 
or fear had compelled the regent to respect, should not thereby be destroyed ; 
and he assumed the responsibility, a few days after the action, of proclaim- 
ing a general amnesty to the chiefs, and an invitation to each to return to 
his dwelhng. He told the regent that any proceeding which might render 
this clemency nugatory, would not fail to dissatisfy the Government. All 
instantly availed themselves of the permission ; and in every point of vie w, 
morally and physically, the result was most satisfactory, and it acted as 
a panacea for the womids our public faith compelled us to inflict. Even 
in the midst of their compulsory infliction, he had many sources of gratula- 
tion : and of these he will give an anecdote illustrative of Rajput character. 
In 1807, when the Author, then commencing his career, was wandering 
alone through their country, surveying their geography, and collecting 
scraps of their statistics, he left Sindhia battering Rahatgarh [in Sagar 
District, Central Provinces] and with a slender guard proceeded through 
the wilds of Chanderi, and thence direct westwards to trace the course of 
all the rivers lying between the Betwa and the Chamhal. In passing 
through Haravati, leaving his tent standing at Bara, he had advanced with 
the perambulator as far as the Kali-Smd, a distance of sev'enteen miles ; 
and, leaving his people to follow at leisure, was returning home unattended 
at a brisk canter, wiien, as he passed through the town of Bamolia, a part5f 
rushed out and made him captive, saying that he must visit the chief 
[582], Although much fatigued, it would have been folly to refuse. He 
obeyed, and was conveyed to a square, in the centre of which was an elevated 
cliabatra or platform, shaded by the sacred tree. Here, sitting on carpets, 
was the chief with his little court. The Author was received most courte- 
ously. The first act was to disembarrass him of his boots ; but this, heated 
as he was, they could not effect : refreshments were then put before him, 
and a Brahman brought water, with a ewer and basin, for his ablutions. 
Although he was then but an indifferent linguist, and their patois scarcely 
intelhgible to him, he passed a very happy hour, in which conversation 
never flagged. The square was soon filled, and many a pair of fine black 
eyes smiled courteously upon the stranger — for the females, to his surprise, 
looked abroad without any fear of censure ; though he was ignorant of 
their sphere in hie. The Author’s horse was lame, which the chief had 
noticed ; and on rising to go, he foimd one ready caparisoned for him, 
which, however, he would not accept. On reaching his tent the Author 
sent several httle articles as tokens of regard. Fourteen years after this, 
the day following the action at Mangrol, he received a letter by a messenger 
from the mother of the chief of Bamolia, who sent her blessing, and invoked 
him, by past friendship and recollections, to protect her son, whose honour 
had made him join the standard of his sovereign. The Author had the 
satisfaction of replying that her son would be with her nearly as soon as 
the bearer of the letter. The Bamolia chief, it will" be recollected, wa« the 
descendant of the chief of Aton, one of the great opponents of the regent 
at the opening of his career. 



1609 


RESTORATION OF THE MAHARAO 


take the place of ambition. The indi\4duals who, for their own 
base purposes, had by misrepresentation and guile guided him 
to ruin, now deserted him ; the film fell from his eyes, and he 
saw, though too late, the only position in which he could exist. 
In a very short time every pretension inimical to the spirit and 
letter of the treaty, original and supplemental, was relinquished ; 
when, with the regent’s concurrence, a note was transmitted 
to him, containing the basis on which his return to Kotah was 


practicable. A transcript with his acceptance being received, a 
formal deed was drawn up, executed by the Agent and attested 
by the regent, not only defining the precise position of both 
parties, but establishing a barrier between the titular and execu- 
tive authorities, which must for ever prevent all collision of 
interests ; nothing was left to chance or cavil. The grand object 
was to provide for the safety, comfort, and dignity of the prince, 
and this was done on a scale of profuse liberality ; far beyond 
what his father, or indeed any prince of Kotah had enjoyed, and 
incommensurate with the revenue of the State, of which it is 
about the twentieth portion. The amount equals the household 
expenditure of the Rana of Udaipur, the avowed head of the 
whole Rajput race, but which can be better afforded from the 
flourishing revenues of Kotah than the slowly improving finances 
of Mewar. 

Restoration of the Maharao. — These preliminaries being satis- 
factorily adjusted, it became important to inspire this misguided 
prince with a confidence that his welfare would be as anxiously 
watched as the stipulations of the treaty whose infringement 
had cost him so much misery. He had too much reason to 
plead personal alarm as one of the causes of his past conduct, 
and which tended greatly to neutralize all the endeavours to 
ser\'e him. Even on the very day that he was to leave Nath- 
dwara, on his return, when after great efforts his mind had been 
emancipated from distrust, a final and diabolical attempt was 
made to thwart the measures for his restoration. A mutilated 
wretch was made to personate his brother Bishan Singh, and to 
give out that he had been maimed by command [583] of the 
regent’s son, and the impostor had the audacity to come within 
a couple of miles of the Maharao ; a slight resemblance to Bishan 
Singh aided the deceit, which, thoi^h promptly exposed, had 
made the impression for which it was contrived, and it required 

VOL. Ill 2 A 



1610 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


some skill to remove it. The Rana of Udaipur no sooner heard 
of this last effort to defeat all the good intentions in wliich he 
co-operated towards the Maharao, to whose sister he was married, 
than he had the impostor seized and brought to the city, where 
his story had caused a powerful sensation. His indiscreet indigna- 
tion for ever destroyed the clue by which the plot might have 
been unravelled ; for he was led immediately to execution, and 
all that transpired was, that he was a native of the Jaipur State, 
and had been mutilated for some crime. Could the question 
have been solved, it might have afforded the means of a different 
termination of those unhappy quarrels, to which they formed a 
characteristic sequel ; intrigue and mistrust combined to inveigle 
Kishor Singh into attempts wliich placed him far beyond the 
reach of reason, and the most zealous exertions to extricate him. 

This last scene being over, the IMaharao left liis retreat at the 
fane of Kanhaiya, and marched across the plateau to his paternal 
domains. On the last day of the year the regent, accompanied 
by the Agent, advanced to reconduet the prince to the capital. 
The universal demonstration of satisfaction at his return was the 
most convincing testimony that any other course would have 
been erroneous. On that day he once more took possession of 
the gaddi which he had twice abandoned, with a resignation free 
from all asperity, or even embarrassment. Feelings arising out 
of a mind accustomed to religious meditation, aided while they 
softened the bitter monitor, adversity, and together they afforded 
the best security that any deviation from the new order of things 
would never proceed from him. 

Arrangements with the Maharao. — Besides the schedule of the 
personal expenditure, over which he was supreme, much of the 
State expense was to be managed under the eye of the sovereign ; 
such as the charities, and gifts on festivals and military cere- 
monies. The royal insignia used on all great occasions were to 
remain as heretofore at his residence in the castle, as was the 
band at the old guardroom over the chief portal of entrance. He 
was to preside at all the military or other annual festivals, attended 
by the whole retinue of the State ; and the gifts on such occasions 
were to be distributed in his name. All the palaces, in and about 
the city, were at his sole disposal, and funds were set apart for 
their repairs ; the gardens? ramnas, or game-preserves, and his 
personal guards, were also to be entertained and paid by himself. 


< 


r 


< 


A 


- 



ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE MAHARAO 1611 


To maintain this arrangement inviolate, an [584] officer of the 
paramount power was henceforth to reside at Kotah. A hand- 
some stipend was settled on the minor son of the deceased Prithi 
Singh ; while, in order to prevent any mnbrage to the Maharao, 
his brother Bishan Singh, whose trimming policy had been 
offensive to the Maharao, was removed to the family estate at 
Antha, twenty miles east of the capital, on which occasion an 
increase was spontaneously made to his jagir. 

The Agent remained an entire month after this, to strengthen 
the good understanding now introduced. He even effected a 
reconciliation between the prince and Madho Singh, when the 
former, with great tact and candour, took upon himself the blame 
of all these disturbances ; each gave his hand in token of future 
amity, and the prince spontaneously embraced the man (the 
regent’s son) to whom he attributed all his misery. But the 
Maharao’s comforts and dignity are now independent of control, 
and watched over by a guardian who will demand a rigi^ exaction 
of every stipulation in his favour. The patriarchal Zalim was, 
or affected to be, overjoyed at this result, which had threatened 
to involve them all in the abyss of misery. Bitter was his self- 
condemnation at the moral blindness of his conduct, which had 
not foreseen and guarded against the storm ; and severe, as well 
as merited, was the castigation he inflicted on his successor. 
“ It is for your sins, son, that I am punished,” was the conclusion 
of every such exhortation. 

It will be deemed a singular fatality, that this last conspicuous 
act in the political life of the regent should have been on the 
spot which exactly sixty years before witnessed the opening 
scene of his career ; for the field of Bhatwara adjoined that of 
Mangrol. What visions must have chased each other on this 
last memorable day, when he recalled the remembrance of the 
former ! when the same sword, which redeemed the independence 
of Kotah from tributary degradation to Amber, was now drawn 
against the grandson of that sovereign who rewarded his services 
with the first office of the State ! Had some prophetic Bardai 
withdrawn the mantle of Bhavani, and disclosed through the 
vista of threescore years the regent in the foregroimd, in aU 
the panoply of ingenuous youth “ spreading his carpet ” at 

1 The battle of Bhatwara was fought in S. 1817, or A.n. 1761 ; the action 
at Mangrol, Oct. 1, a.d. 1821. 


1612 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


Bhatwara, to review the charge of the Kaehhwaha chivalry, and 
in the distant perspective that same being palsied, blind, and 
decrepit, leading a mingled host, in character and costume 
altogether strange, against the grandchildren of his prince, and 
the [585] descendants of those Haras who nobly seconded liini to 
gain this reputation, what effect woidd such a prospect have 
produced on one whom the mere hooting of an owl on the house- 
top had “ scared from his propriety ” ? 

Soon after the satisfactory conclusion of these painful scenes, 
the regent returned to the Chhaoni, his fixed camp, and projected 
a tour of the State, to aUay the disorders which had crept in, and 
to regulate afresh the action of the State-machine, the construction 
of which had occupied a long life, but which could not fail to be 
deranged by the complicated views which had arisen amongst ^ 
those whose business was to work it. Often, amidst these con- 
flicts, did he exclaim, with his great prototj'pe both in prosperity 
and sorrckw, “ Jly kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends 
have forgotten me.” But Zalim had not the same resources in 
his griefs that Job had ; nor could he with him exclaim, “ If mv 
land cry against me, if I have eaten the fruits thereof without \ 
money, or caused the owners thereof to lose their lives, let thistles 
grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley.” * His vet 
\’igorous mind, however, soon restored everj-thing to its wonted 
prosperity ; and in a few weeks not a trace was left of the com- 
motions which for a while had totally unhinged society, and 
threatened to deluge the land with proscription and blood. The 
prince was reseated on the throne with far greater comforts about 
him and more certainty of stability than pre\-ious to the treaty ; 
the nobles took possession of their estates with not a blade of 
grass removed, and the ghar-kheii, the home-farms of the Regent, 
lost none of their productiveness ; commerce was unscathed, and 
public opinion, which had dared loudly to question the moral ^ 
justice of these proceedings, was conciliated by their conclusion. 

The regent survived these events five years ; his attenuated 
frame was worn out by a spirit, vigorous to the last pulsation 
of life, and too strong for the feeble cage which imprisoned it J 

^ Job, chap. xxxi. 38-40. 

^ [Zalim Singh died in 1824, and was succeeded as regent by his son, 
Madho Singh, who was notoriously unfit for office, and he was succeeded 
by his son, Madan Singh. Maharao Kishor Singh II. died in 1828, and 



CHARACTER OF ZALIM SINGH 


1613 


Character of Zalim Singh. — If history attempt to sum up, or 
institute a scrutiny into, the character of this extraordinary man, 
by what standard must we judge him ? The actions of his life, 
which hav'e furnished matter for the sketch we have attempted, 
may satisfy curiosity ; but the materials for a finished portrait 
he never supplied : the latent springs of those actions remained 
invisible save to the eye of Omniscience. No human being ever 
shared the confidence of the Machiavelli of Rajasthan, who, from 
the first dawn of his political existence to its close, when “ four- 
score years and upwards,” could always say, “ My secret is my 
own.” This single trait, throughout a troubled career of more 
[586] than ordinary length, would alone stamp his character with 
originality. No effervescence of felicity, of success, of sympathy, 
which occasionally bursts from the most rugged nature, no 
sudden transition of passion — joy, grief, hope, even revenge — 
could tempt him to betray his purpose. That it was often 
fathomed, that his “ vaulting ambition has o'erleapt itself,” and 
made him lose his object, is no more than may be said of all who 
have indulged in “ that sin by which angels fell ” ; yet he never 
failed through a blind confidence in the instruments of his designs. 
Though originally sanguine in expectation and fiery in tempera- 
ment, he subdued these natui-al defects, and could await with 
composure the due ripening of his plans ; even in the hey-day 
of youth he had attained this mastery over himself. To this 
early discipline of his mind he owed the many escapes from plots 
against his life, and the difficulties which were perpetually 
besetting it increased his natural resources. There was no 
artifice, not absolutely degrading, which he would not condescend 
to employ : his natural simplicity- made humility, when necessary, 
a plausible disguise ; while his scrupulous attention to all religious 
observances caused his mere affirmation to be respected. The 
sobriety of his demeanour gave weight to his opinions and in- 
fluenced the judgment ; while his invariable urbanity gained 
the goodwill of his inferiors, and his superiors were won by the 

was succeeded by his nephew, Ram Singh II. (1828-66). Six years after 
his accession disputes again arose between him and his minister, Madan 
Singh, and it was resolved to dismember the State of Kotah, and to create 
the new principality of Jhalawar as a separate provision for the descendants 
of Zffim Singh (lOI, xv. 414 ; H. H. Wilson, continuation of Mill, Hist, of 
British India, 1846, vol. ii. p. 424).] 



1614 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI: KOTAH 


delicacy of his flattery, in the application of which he was an 
adept. To crown the whole, there was a mysterious brevity, an 
oracular sententiousness, in his conversation, which always left 
something to the imagination of his auditor, who gave him credit 
for what he did not, as well as what he did utter. None could 
better appreciate, or studied more to obtain, the meed of good 
opinion ; and throughout his lengthened life, vmtil the occurrences 
just described, he threw over his acts of despotism and vengeance 
a veil of such consummate art, as to make them lose more than 
half their deformity. With him it must have been an axiom, 
that mankind judge superficially ; and in accordance therewith, 
his first study was to preserve appearances, and never to offend 
prejudice if avoidable. When he sequestrated the States of the 
Hara feudality, he covered the fields, by them neglected, with 
crops of corn, and thereby drew a contrast favourable to himself 
between the effects of sloth and activity. When he usurped the 
fmictions of royalty, he threw a bright halo around the orb of its 
glory, overloading the gaddi with the trappings of grandeur, 
aware that — 

the world is e'er deceived by ornament : 

nor did the princes of Kotah ever appear with such magnificence 
as when he possessed aU the attributes of royalty but the name. 
Every act evinced his deep skill in the [587] knowledge of the 
human mind and of the elements by which he was surrounded ; 
he could circiunvent the crafty Mahratta, cahn or quell the 
arrogant Rajput, and extort the applause even of the Briton, who 
is little prone to allow merit in an Asiatic. He was a' depository 
of the prejudices and the pride of his countrymen, both in religious 
and social life ; yet, enigmatical as it must appear, he frequently 
violated them, though the infraction was so gradual as to be 
imperceptible except to the few who watched the slow progress 
of his plans. To such he appeared a compoimd of the most 
contradictory elements : lavish and parsimonious, oppressing 
and protecting ; with one hand bestowing diamond aigrettes, 
with the other taking the tithe of the anchorite’s wallet ; one 
day sequestrating estates and driving into exile the ancient chiefs 
of the land ; the next receiving with open arms some expatriated 
noble, and supporting him in dignity and affluence, till the 
receding tide of human affairs rendered such support no longer 
requisite. 


1615 


tZALM SINGH AND WITCHES 

Zalim Singh and Witches. — ^We have already mentioned his 
antipathy to the professors of “ the tuneful art ” ; and he was as 
inveterate as Diocletian to the alchemist, regarding the trade of 
both as ahke useless to society : neither were, therefore, tolerated 
in Kotah. But the enemies of the regent assert that it was from 
no disUke of their merit, but from his having been the dupe of the 
one, and the object of the other’s satire (vish). His persecution of 
witches (dakini) was in strict conformity with the injimction in 
the Pentateuch ; “ Thou shall not suffer a witch to live ” (Exod. 
chap. xxii. ver. 18). But his ordeal was worse than even death 
itself : handling balls of hot iron was deemed too slight for such 
sinners ; for it was well known they had substances wliich enabled 
them to do this with impunity. Throwing them into a pond of 
water was another trial ; if they sunk, they were innocent, if 
they unhappily rose to the surface, the league with the powers of 
darkness was apparent. A gram-bag of cayenne pepper tied 
over the head, if it failed to suffocate, afforded another proof of 
£uilt ; though the most humane method, of rubbing the eyes 
with a well-dried capsicum, was perhaps the most common, and 
certainly if they could furnish this demonstration of their inno- 
cence, by withholding tears, they might justly be deemed witches . 
These Dakinis, like the vampires of the German Bardais, are 
supposed to operate upon the viscera of their victims, which 
they destroy by slow degrees with charms and incantations, and 
hence they are called in Sind (where, as Abu-1 Fazl says, they 
abound) Jigarkhor, or ‘ Uver-devourers.’ ^ One look of a Dakini 
suffices to destroy ; but there are few who [588] court the title, 
at least in Kotah, though old age and eccentricity are sufficient, 
in conjunction with superstition or bad luck, to fix the stigma 
upon individuals. 

Amusements of Zalim Singh. — ^Aware of the danger of relaxing, 
“ to have done,” even when eighty-five winters had passed over 
his head, was never in his thoughts. He knew that a Rajput’s 
throne should be the back of his steed ; and when blindness 
overtook him, and he could no longer lead the chase on horseback, 
he was carried in his litter to his grand himts, which consisted 
sometimes of several thousand armed men. Besides dissipating 
the ennui of his vassals, he obtained many other objects by an 
amusement so analogous to their character ; in the unmasked 
^ ii. 338 f.] 



i616 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAlt 


joyousness of the sport, he heard the unreserved opinions of his 
companions, and gained their affection by thus administering to 
the favourite pastime of the Rajput, whose life is otherwise 
monotonous. When in the forest, he would sit down, surroimded 
by thousands, to regale on the game of the day. Camels followed 
his train, laden with flour, sugar, spices, and huge cauldrons for 
the use of his sylvan cuisine ; and amidst the hilarity of the 
moment, he would go through the varied routine of government, 
attend to foreign and commercial policy, the details of his farms 
or his army, the reports of his police ; nay, in the very heat of 
the operations, shot flying in all directions, the ancient regent 
might be discovered, like our immortal Alfred or St. Louis of the 
Franks, administering justice under the shade of some spreading 
pipal tree ; while the day so passed would be closed with religious 
rites, and the recital of a mythological epic ; he found time for 
all, never appeared hurried, nor could he be taken by surprise’ 
When he coidd no longer see to sign his own name, he had an 
autograph facsimile engraved, which was placed in the special 
care of a confidential officer, to apply when commanded. Even 
this loss of one sense was with him compensated by another, for 
long after he was stone-blind, it would have been vain to attempt 
to impose upon him in the choice of shawls or clothes of any kind, 
whose fabrics and prices he could determine by the touch ; and 
it is even asserted that he could in like manner distinguish 
colours. 


His Gardens. If, as has been truly remarked, “ that man 
deserves well of his country who makes a blade of grass grow 
where none grew before,” ^ what merit is due to him who made 
the choicest of nature’s products flourish where grass could not 
grow ; who covered the bare rock around liis capital with soil 
Md cultivated the exotics of Arabia, Ceylon, and the western 
Archipelago ; who translated from the Indian Apennines (the 
moimtams of Malabar) the coco-nut and palmyra ; and thus 
refuted the assertion that [589] these trees could not flourish 
remote from the influence of a marine atmosphere ? In his 
gardens were to be found the apples and quinces of Kabul, pome- 
granates from the famed stock of Kagla ka baghMn the desert 
oranges of every kind, scions of Agra and Sylhet, the amba of 


1 i&ynit, GulUmr'j Traveh : Voyage to BrobiingnagA 
{Kagla ha bagh, ‘ The Crow’s Garden,’] 







HIS GARDENS: WRESTLING 


1617 


Mazagon, and the champa-kela,^ or golden plantain, of the Deccan, 
besides the indigenous productions of Rajputana. Some of the 
wells for irrigating these gardens cost in blasting the rock thirty 
thousand rupees each ; he hinted to his friends that they could 
not do better than follow his example, and a hint always sufficed. 
He would have obtained a prize from any horticultural society 
for his improvement of the wild her (jujube), which by grafting he 
increased to the size of a small apple. In chemical science he 
had gained notoriety ; his itrs, or essential oils of roses, jessamine, 
ketaki, and keura,^ were far superior to any that could be pur- 
chased. There was no occasion to repair to the valley of Kashmir 
to witness the fabrication of its shawls ; for the looms and the 
wool of that fairy region were transferred to Kotah, and the 
Kashmirian weaver plied the shuttle under Zalim’s own eye. 
But, as in the case of his lead-mines, he fomid that tliis branch 
of industry did not return even sixteen annas and a half for the 
rupee,’ the minimum profit at which he fixed his remuneration ; 
so that after satisfying his curiosity, he abandoned the manu- 
facture. His forges for swords and firearms had a high reputation, 
and his matchlocks rival those of Bundi, both in excellence and 
elaborate workmanship. 

Wrestling. — His corps of gladiators, if we may thus designate 
the Jethis, obtained for him equal credit and disgrace. The 
funds set apart for this recreation amounted at one time to fifty 
thousand rupees per annum ; but his wrestlers surpassed in 
skill and strength those of every other court in Rajwara, and the 
most renowned champions of other States were made “ to view 
the heavens,” * if they came to Kotah. But in his younger days 
■ 7:gliTn was not satisfied with the use of mere natural weapons, for 
occasionally he made his Jethis fight with the baghnakh, or 

1 [Musa champa, or CMni champa, the finest of all plantains (Watt, 

Econ. Prod. 787).] . cu g “ f 

2 [Pinus odoraiissimus, the screw-pine, used for its fibre, and mr, 

perhaps, the most characteristic and most widely used perfume of India 
(ibid. 188, 727).] 

3 There are sixteen annas to the rupee or half crown. 

* “Astmn dikhland" is the phrase of the ‘Fancy' in these regions for 
victory ; when the vanquished is thrown upon his back and kept in that 
attitude. [For an account of the Jetti wrestlers of the Telugu country see 
Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, ii. 456 fi.] 

‘ See an account of this instrument by Colonel Briggs, Transactions of 
Boyal Asiatic Society, vol. ii. [See Vol. II. p. 721.] 



1618 


ANNALS OF HARAVATI : KOTAH 


tiger-claw, when they tore off the flesh from each other [590]. The 
chivalrous Ummed Singh of Bundi put a stop to this barbarity. 
Returning from one of his pilgrimages from Dwarka, he passed 
through Kotah while Zalim and his court were assembled in the 
akhara (arena) where two of these stall-fed prize-fighters were 
about to contend. The presence of this brave Hara checked the 
bloody exhibition, and he boldly censured the Regent for squander- 
ing on such a wortliless crew resources which ought to cherish 
Ids Rajputs. This might have been lost upon the Protector, 
had not the royal pilgrim, in the fervour of his indignation, 
thrown dowm the gauntlet to the entire assembly of Jethis. 
Putting his shield on the ground, he placed therein, one by one, 
the entire panoply of armour which he habitually wore in his 
peregrinations, namely, his matchlock and its ponderous accom- 
paniments, sw'ord, daggers, staff, and battleaxe, and challenged 
any individual to raise it from the ground with a single arm. 
All tried and failed ; when Sriji, though full sixty years of age, 
held it out at arm s length during several seconds. The Haras 
were delighted at the feat of their patriarchal chief ; while the 
crest-fallen Jetlds hung their heads, and from that day lost 
ground in the favour of the regent. But these were the follies 
of his earher days, not of the later period of his hfe ; he was 
then like an aged oak, which, though shattered and decayed, 
had survived the tempest and the desolation which had raged 
around it. 

The Last Years of Z alim Singh. — To conclude : had he imitated 
Diocletian, and surrendered the purple, he would have afforded 
another instance of the anomalies of the human understanding ; 
that he did not do so, for the sake of his own fame and that of 
the controlling power, as well as for the welfare of his prince, 
must be deeply lamented ; the more espeeiaUy as his chhari (rod) 
has descended to feeble hands. He had enjoyed the essentials of 
sovereignty during threescore years, a period equal in duration 
to that of Darius the Mede ; and had overcome difficulties which 
would have appalled no ordinary minds. He had vanquished all 
his enemies, external and internal, and all his views as regarded 
Haraoti were accomplished. 

Amongst the motives which might have urged the surrender 
of his power, stronger perhaps tlian his desire of reparation with 
heaven and his prince, was the fear of his successor's inefficiency ; 



THE LAST YEARS OF ZALIM SINGH 


1619 


but this consideration unhappily was counterbalanced by the 
precocious talents of his grandson, whom he affectionately loved, 
and in whom he thought he saw himself renewed. Pride also, 
that chief ingredient in his character, checked such surrender ; 
he feared the world would suppose he had relinquished what he 
could no longer retain ; and ruin would have been preferred to 
the idea that he had been “ driven from his stool.” Able and 
artful ministers flattered the feeling so deeply rooted, and to 
crown the whole, he was supported by obligations of public faith 
contracted by a power without a rival. Still, old age, declining 
health, the desire of repose and of religious retirement, prompted 
wishes which often escaped his lips [591] ; but counteracting 
feelings intruded, and the struggle between the good and evil 
l)rinciple lasted until the moment had passed when abdication 
would have been honourable. Had he, however, obeyed the 
impulse, his retreat would have more resembled that of the fifth 
Charles than of the Roman King. In the shades of Nathdwara 
he would have enjoyed that repose, which Diocletian could not 
find at Salona ; and embued with a better philosophy and more 
knowledge of the human heart, he would have practised what 
was taught, that “ there ought to be no intermediate change 
between the command of men and the service of God ” [592]. 




BOOK XI 

PERSONAL NARRATIVE : UDAIPUR TO KHERODA 


CHAPTER 1 

# ^ 

Udaipur, January 29, 1820. — The Personal Narrative attached 
to the second volume of this work terminated with the Author’s 
return to Udaipur, after a complete circuit of Marwar and Ajmer. 
He remained at his headquarters at Udaipur until the 29th 
January 1820, when circumstances rendering it expedient that he 
should visit the principalities of Bundi and Kotah (which were 
placed under his political superintendence), he determined not to 
neglect the opportunity it afforded of adding to his portfolio 
remarks on men and manners, in a country hitherto untrodden 
by Europeans. 

Although we had not been a month in the valley of Udaipur, 
we were all desirous to avail ourselves of the lovely weather which 
the cold season of India invariably brings, and which exhilarates 
the European who has languished through the hot winds, and the 
stiU more oppressive monsoon. The thermometer at this time, 
within the valley, was at the freezing point at break of day, 
ranging afterwards as high as 90°, whilst the sky was without a 
cloud, and its splendour at night was dazzling. 

Kheroda, — On the 29th we broke ground from the heights of 
Tus, marched fifteen English miles (though estimated at only six 
and a half coss), and encamped under the embankment of the 
spacious lake of Kheroda.^ Our route was over a rich and well- 
watered plain, but which had long been a stranger to the plough. 
Three miles from Dabokh we crossed our own stream, the Berach, 
1 [Twenty -four miles E. of Udaipur city.] 

1621 



1622 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


% 


and at the village of [593] Darauli is a small outlet from this river, 
which runs into a hollow and forms a jhil, or lake. There is a 
highly interesting temple, dedicated to Mandeswar (Siva), on the 
banks of this stream, the architecture of which attests its anti- 
quity. It is the counterpart in miniature of a celebrated temple, 
at Chandravati, near Abu, and verifies the traditional axiom, that 
the architectural rules of past ages were fixed on immutable 
principles. 

We passed the sarai of Surajpura, a mile to the right, and got 
entangled in the’swampy ground of Bhartewar. This town, which 
belongs to the chief of Kanor, one of the sixteen great barons of 
Mewar, boasts a high antiquity, and Bhartrihari, the elder brother 
of Vikrama, is its reputed founder. If we place any faith in local 
tradition, the bells of seven hundred and fifty temples, chiefly of 
the Jain faith, once sounded within its walls, which were six miles 
in length ; but few vestiges of them now remain, although there 
are ruins of some of these shrines which show they were of con- 
siderable importance. Within a mile and a half of Kheroda we 
passed through Khairsana, a large charity-viUage belonging to the 
Brahmans. \ 

Kheroda is a respectable place, having a fortress with double 
ditches, which can be filled at pleasure from the river. Being 
situated on the highroad between the ancient and modern capitals, 
it was always a bone of contention in the ci\Tl wars. It was in 
the hands of Rawat Jai Singh of Lawa, the adopted heir of 
Sangram Saktawat, one of the great leaders in the struggles of 
the year 1748 [a.d. 1691], an epoch as well known in Mewar as the 
1745 of Scotland. Being originally a fiscal possession, and from 
its position not to be trusted to the hands of any of the feudal 
chiefs, it was restored to the sovereign ; though it was not without 
difficulty that the riever of Lawa agreed to sign the constitution 
of the 4th of May,’ and relinquish to his sovereign a stronghold 
which had been purchased with the blood of his kindred. 

Tribal Feuds. — The history of Kheroda would afford an ex- 
cellent illustration of the feuds of Mewar. In that between 
Sangram Singh the Saktawat, and Bhairon Singh Chondawat, 
both of these chief clans of Mewar lost the best of their defenders. 

In 1733 Sangram, then but a youth (his father, Lalji, Rawat of 

’ See treaty between the Rana and his chiefs, Vol. I. p. 243. [Signed 
A.D. 1818 .] 



TRIBAL FEUDS AT KHERODA 


1623 


Slieogarh, being yet alive), took Kheroda from his sovereign, and 
retained it six years. In 17-10 the rival clans of Deogarh, Amet, 
Kurabar, etc., vmder their common head, the chief of Salumbar, 
and having their acts legalized by the presence of the Dahipra 
minister, united to expel the Saktawat. Sangram held out four 
months ; when he hoisted a flag of truce and agreed to capitulate, 
on [594] condition that he should be permitted to retreat un- 
molested, with all his followers and effects, to Bhindar, the capital 
of the Saktawats. This condition was granted, and the heir of 
Sheogarh was received into Bhindar. Here he commenced his 
depredations, the adventures attending which are still the topics 
of munerous tales. In one of his expeditions to the estate of 
Kurabar he carried off both the cattle and the inhabitants of 
Gurli. Zalim Singh, the heir of Kurabar, came to the rescue, but 
was laid low by thek- lance of Sangram. To revenge liis death, 
every Chondawat of the country assembled round the banner of 
Salumbar ; the sovereign himself espoused their cause, and with 
his nSbrcenary bands of Sindis succeeded in investing Bhindar. 
During the siege Arjun of Kurabar, bent on revenge for the loss 
of his heir, determined to surprise Sheogarh, which he effected, 
and spared neither age nor sex.*^ Kheroda remained attached to 
the flsc during several years, when the Rana, ■with a thoughtless- 
ness which has nourished these feuds, granted it to Sardar Singh, 
the Chondawat chief of Badesar. In S. 1746 the Chondawats were 
in rebellion and disgrace, and their rivals, under the chief of 
Bhindar, assembled their kindred to drive out the Sindi garrison, 
who held lOieroda for their foe. Arjun of Kurabar, with the 
Sindi Koli, came to aid the garrison, and an action ensued under 
the walls, in which Sangram slew -with his O'wn hand two of the 
principal subordinates of Kurabar, namely, Gmnan the Sakarwal, 
and Bhimji Ranawat, Nevertheless, the Chondawats gained the 
day, and the Saktawats again retired on Bliindar. There they 
received a reinforcement sent by Zahm Singh of Kotah (who 
fostered all these disputes, trusting that eventually he should be 
able to snatch the bone of contention from both), and a band of 
Arabs, and 'with this aid they returned to the attack. The 
Chondawats, who, -with the auxiliaries of Sind, were encamped in 
the plains of Akola, willingly accepted the challenge, but were 
defeated ; Sindi Koli, leader of the auxiliaries, was slain, and the 
1 The sequel of this feud has been related, Vol. I. p. 511. 



1624 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


force was entirely dispersed. Sangram, who headed this and 
every assault against the rival clan, was wounded in three places ; 
but this he accounted nothing, having thereby obtained the 
regard of his sovereign, and the expulsion of his rival from 
Kheroda, which remained attached to the fisc until the year 1758, 
when, on the payment of a fine of ten thousand rupees, the estate 
was assigned to him under the royal signature. This was in the 
year a.d. 1802, from which period until 1818, when we had to 
mediate between the Rana and his chiefs, Kheroda remained a 
trophy of the superior courage and tact of the Saktawats. No 
wonder that the Rawat Jai Singh of Lawa, the adopted heir of 
Sangram, was averse to renounce Kheroda. He went so far as 
[595J to man its walls, and forbid any communication with the 
servants of his sovereign : the slightest pro\'Qcation would have 
compelled a siege and assault, in which all the Chondawats of the 
country woiUd gladly have joined, and the old feuds might have 
been revived on the very dawn of disfranchisement from the 
yoke of the Hahrattas. But what will be thought of this trans- 
action when it is stated that the lord of Kheroda was at this time 
at court the daily companion of his sovereign ! Although the 
dependants of Jai Singh would have flred on any one of his master’s 
servants who ventured to its walls, and, according to our notions, 
he was that moment a rebel both to his prince and the paramount 
protector, not an uncourtly phrase was ever heard, nor could it 
be discovered that the Rana and the Rawat stood in any other 
relation than as the gracious sovereign and the loyal subject. 
These matters are conveniently managed : all the odium of dis- 
cussion is left to the Kamdars, or delegates of the prince and the 
chief, between whom not the least diminution of courteous 
etiquette would be observable, whilst there remained a hope of 
adjustment. Asiatics do not coimt the moments which intervene 
between the conception and consummation of an undertaking as 
do those of colder climes. In aU their transactions they preserve 
more composure, which, whatever be its cause, lends an air of 
dignity to their proceedings. I have risen from discussion with 
the respective ministers of the sovereign and chieftains regarding 
acts involving treason, in order to join the principals in an excur- 
sion on the lake, or in the tilt-yard at the palace, where they 
would be passing their opinions on the points of a horse, with 
mutual courtesy and affability. This is no imamiable feature 



AGRICULTURE AT KHERODA 


1625 


in the manners of the East, and tends to strengthen the tie of 
fraternity which binds together the fabric of Rajput policy. 

Agriculture at Eheroda. — The agricultural economy of Kheroda, 
which discovers distinct traces of the patriarchal system, is not 
without interest. Kheroda is a tappa, or subdivision of one of 
the greater khalisa or fiscal districts of Mewar, and consists of 
fourteen townships, besides their hamlets. It is rated at 14,500 
rupees of yearly rent, of which itself furnishes 3500. The land, 
though generally of a good quality, is of three classes, namely, 
piwal, or watered from wells ; gorma, also irrigated land, extend- 
ing three or four khets, or fields, around the village ; and mar or 
mal, depending on the heavens alone for moisture. As has been 
already stated, there are two harvests, namely, the unalu (from 
mhna, ‘ heat ’), or summer-harvest ; and the siyalu (from sita, 

‘ cold ’), the winter or autumnal [596]. The share of the crown, as 
in all the ancient Hindu governments, is taken in kind, and divided 
as follows : — Of the first, or unalu crop, consisting of wheat, barley, 
and gram, the produce is formed into khallas (piles or heaps) of 
one hundred maunds each ; these are subdivided into four parts, 
of twenty-five maunds each. The first operation is to provide 
from one of these the serana, or one ser on each maund, to each 
individual of the village-establishment : namely, the Patel, or 
head-man ; the Patwari, register or accountant ; the Shahnah, 
or watchman ; the Balahi, or messenger and also general herds- 
man ; * the Kathi (alias Sutar) or carpenter ; the Lohar, or black- 
smith ; the Kumhar, or potter ; the Dhobi, or washerman ; the 
Chamar. who is shoemaker, carrier, and scavenger ; the Nai, or 
barber-surgeon. These ten seranas, or one ser on each khalla, 
or two maimds and a half to each individual, swallow up one of 
the subdivisions. Of the three remaining parts, one share, or 
twenty-five maunds, goes to the Raj, or sovereign, and two to 
the rvot, or cultivator, after deducting a sexana of two maunds 
for the heir-apparent, which is termed Kunwar-matka, or ‘ pot 
for the prince.’ An innovation of late years has been practised 
on the portion belonging to the village, from which no less than 

1 The balaU or balaiti is the shepherd of the community, who drives 
" the village flock to the common pasturage ; and, besides his serana, has 
some trifling reward from every individual. It is his especial duty to prevent 
cattle-trespasses. [For a good account of allowances to village servants app 
menials see B. H. Baden-Powell, The Indian Village Community, 16 fi.] 
VOi..ni 2 b 



1626 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


three serana^ of one maund each are deducted, previous to sub- 
division amongst the ten village officers ; namely, one ‘ pot for 
the prince,’ another for the Rana’s cliief groom, and a third for his 
Modi, or steward of the grain department. These all go to the 
o-overnmcnt, which thus realizes thirty maunds out of each 
hundred, or three-tenths, instead of one-fourth, according to 
ancient usage. But the viflage-cstablishment has an additional 
advantage before the grain is thrashed out ; this is the kirpa 
or sheaf from everj^ bigha (a third of an acre) of land cultivated 
to each individual ; and each sheaf is reckoned to yield from five 
to seven sers of grain. The reapers are also allowed small kirpas 
or sheaves, yielding two or three sets each ; and there were various 
little larcenies permitted, imder the terms of dantani and chabani, 
indicating they were allowed the use of their teeth (dant) while 
reaping : so that in fact they fed {chabna, ‘ to bite or masticate ’) 
upon roasted heads of Indian corn and maize. 

Of the siyalu crop, which consists of makkai, or Indian corn, 
and juar and bajra, or millet, with the different pulses, the process 
of distribution is as follows. From every khalla, or heap of one 
hundred maunds, forty are set apart for the Raj or government, 
and the rest, after deducting the seranas of the village-establish- 
ment, goes to the cultivator. 

On the culture of sugar-cane, cotton, indigo, opium, tobacco, 
til or sesamum, and [597] the various dyes, there has always been 
a fixed money-rent, varying from two to ten rupees per bigha. 

Sagai-Cane Cultivation. — There is nothing so uncertain in its — 
results as the cultivation of sugar-cane, which holds out a powerful 
lure for dishonesty to the collector for the crown. But it is 
asserted here that the ryot had no option, being compelled to 
cultivate, in due proportion, cane, opium, and grain, from the 
same charsa ^ or well. A rough estimate of the expense attending 
the culture of a charsa, or what may be irrigated by one well, may 
not be uninteresting. Let us take, first, one bigha of cane, and 
no more can be watered with one pair of oxen, premising that 
the cane is planted in the month of Aghan, and reaped in the 
same month next year ; that is, after a whole twelvemonth of 
labour : - - 


» ^ [Properly the leather bag by means of which water is raised for irriga- 
tion.] 


SUGAR-CANE CULTIVATION 


1627 


Rupees. 


Hasil, or rent ........ 10 

Seed of one bigha ....... 20 

Gor, or stirring up the earth with .spuds, eight times 
before reaping, sixteen men each time, at two annas 
to each . . . . . . . . )(> 

Two men at tlie well, at four rupees each per month, for 

twelve months . . . . . . . 96 * 

Two oxen, feeding, etc. . . ■• . . . .18. 

Paring and cutting forty thousand canes, at four annas 
per thousand ....... 10 

Placing canes in the mill, clothes to the men, besides one 
ser of sugar out of every maund .... 20 

Shares of all the village establishment ; say, if the bigha 
yields fifty maunds, of v.h'ch they are entitled to one- 

fifth ' . . . .40 

Wood 2 

Hire of boiler ........ 6 

2.38 

A bigha will yield as much as eighty maunds of sugar,- 
though fifty is esteemed a good crop it sells at about 
four rupees per maund, or .... . 200 

Leaving the cultivator minus ... 38 


It wiU be observed that the grower’s whole expenses are 
charged ; besides, to make up, we must calculate from the 
labour of the same two men and cattle, the produce profit of one 
bigha of opium and four bigha.s of wheat and barley, as foUows : 

Rupees. 

Surplus profit on the opium, seven sers of opium, at four 
rupees per ser ....... 28 

One hundred and fifty maunds of grain, of both harvests, 
of which one-third to the Raj, leaves one hundred 
maunds, at one rupee each maund .... 100 

128 

Deduct deficiency on cane .... 38 

Profit left, after feeding, men and cattle, etc., etc. 90 

[598] 

Sometimes, though rarely, the cane is sold standing, at four 
to five rupees the thousand ; but, occasionally, the whole crop is 
lost, if the cane should unfortunately flower, when it is rooted up 
and bmnt, or given to the cattle, being unfit for the use of man. 

^ This goes to feed the cultivator, if he works himself. 

® [The vield of coarse sugar (^r) is now estimated at 30 or 40 maunds 
(281 cwt.) per acre ; but as much as 50 maunds (36 cwt.) has been recorded 
(Watt, Eron. Prod. 947).] 



1628 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


This may be superstition ; though the cultivators of the cane in the 
West Indies may perhaps say that the deterioration of the plant 
would render it not worth the trouble of extracting the juiee.^ 
I shall here conclude this rough sketch of the agricultural economy 
of Kheroda, which ma 5 ' be taken as a fair specimen of the old 
system throughout Mewar, with remarking that, notwithstanding 
the laws of ^lanu,^ inscriptions on stone, and tradition, which 
constitute in fact the customary law of Rajputana, make the rent 
in kind far lighter than what we have just recorded, yet the 
cultivator could not fail to thrive if ev-en this system were main- 
tained. But constant warfare, the necessities of the prince, with 
the cupidity and poverty of the revenue officers, have superadded 
vexatious petty demands, as khar-lakar (wood and forage), and 
ghar-ginti (house-tax) ; the first of which was a tax of one rupee 
annually on every bigha of land in cidtivation, and the other the 
same on each house or hut inhabited. Even the kaid sali, or 
triennial fine on the headman and the register, was levied by these 
again on the cultivators. But besides these regular taxes, there 
was no end to irregidar exactions of barar and dand, or forced 
contributions, until, at length, the country became the scene of 
desolation from which it is only now emerging. 

ffinta, January 30. — This was a short march of three and a 
half coss, or nine miles, over the same extensive plain of rich black 
loam, or mal, whence the province of Malwa has its name.® We 
were on horseback long before sunrise ; the air was pure and 
invigorating ; the peasantry were smiling at the sight of the 
luxuriant young crops of wheat, barley, and gram, aware that no 
ruthless hand could now step between them and the bounties of 
Heaven. PYesh thatch, or rising walls, gave signs of the exiles’ 
return, who greeted us, at each step of our journey, -with blessings 
and looks of joy mingled with sadness. Passed the hamlet, or 

® [The flowering of the cane is regarded as an evil omen. In India the 
cane rarely seeds ; in fact, it is rarely allowed to flower (Watt, Econ. Diet, 
vi. Part ii. 83).] 

® [The king may take an eighth, sixth, or twelfth part of the crop (Mann 
Latvs, vii. 130).] 

® [Malwa or Malava is derived from the tribe of that name, but the name 
Malava-desa, ‘ land of the Malavas,' is not mentioned in Sanskrit literature 
before the second century B.c. ; and the tract now' known as Malw'a was 
not called by that name till the tenth century A.D., or eJcen later {IGI, 
xvii. lOOf. ; £(?, i. Part i. 28, Part ii. 311).] 


HiNTA 


1629 


purwa, of Amarpura, attached to Klieroda, and to our left the 
townslup of Mainar, held in sasan * (religious grant) by a com- 
munity of Brahmans. This place affords a fine specimen of “ the 
vdsdom of ancestors ” in Mewar, where fifty thousand bighas, or 
about sixteen thousand acres of the richest crown land, have been 
given in perpetuity to these drones of society ; and although 
there are only twenty families left of fiiis holy colony, said to have 
been planted by Raja Mandhata m the Treta-yug, or silver age 
of India, yet superstition and indolence conspire to prevent the 
resumption even of those portions which have none to cultivate 
them. A “ sixty thousand [599] years' residence in hell ” is 
undoubtedly no comfortable prospect, and to those who subscribe 
to the doctrine of transmigration, it must be rather mortifying to 
pass from the purple of royalty into “ a worm in ordure,” one of 
the dehcate purgatories which the Rajput soul has to undergo, 
before it can expiate the offence of resuming the lands of the 
church ! I was rejoiced, however, to find that some of “ the sons 
of Sakta,” as they increased in numbers, in the inverse ratio of 
their possessions, deemed it better to incur all risks than emigrate 
to foreign lands in search of Ihian ; and both Hinta and Dundia 
have been established on the lands of the church. Desirous of 
preserving every right of every class, I imprecated on my head all 
the anathemas of the order, if the Rana should resume all beyond 
what the renmant of this family could require. I proposed that 
a thousand bighas of the best land should be retained by them ; 
that they should not only be furnished with cattle, seed, and 
implements of agriculture, but that there should be wells cleared 
out, or fresh ones dug for them. At this time, however, the 
astrologer was a member of the cabinet, and being also physician 
in ordinary, he, as one of the order, protected his brethren of 
Menar, who, as may be supposed, were in vain called upon to 
produce the tamra-pattra, or copper-plate warrant, for these lands. 

Mandhata Raja. — Mandhata Raja,- a name inmiortalized in the 

1 [Sasan, land granted to Brahmans, Ascetics, Charans, and Bhats, by 
royal decree and rent-free. It pays nothing but some miscellaneous taxes, 
is inalienable, but it can be mortgaged.] 

2 [Mandhatri, son of Yuvanaswa of the race of Ikshwaku, a legendary 
monarch, is said to have ” reduced the seven continental zones under his 
dominion” (Vishnu Purana, 363; Dowson, Classical Diet., s.v.). The 
holy place Mandhata in the Aimar District, Central Provinces, is said to 
take its name from him (Gazetteer Central Provinces, 1 870, p. 258).] 



1630 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


topography of these regions, was of the Pramar tribe, and 
sovereign of Central India, whose capitals were Dhar and Ujjain ; 
and although liis period is uncertain, tradition uniformly assigns 
him priority to Vikramaditya, whose era (fifty-six years anterior 
to the Christian) prevails throughout India. There are various 
spots on the Nerbudda which perpetuate his name, especially 
where that grand stream forms one of its most considerable 
rapids. Chitor, with all its dependencies, was but an appanage 
of the sovereignty of Dhar in these early times, nor can we move 
a step without discovering traces of their paramoimt sway in all 
these regions : and in the spot over which I am now moving, the 
antiquary might without any difficulty fill his portfolio. Both 
Hinta and Dundia, the dependencies of Mainar, are brought in 
connexion with the name of Mandhata, who performed the grand, 
rite of Aswamedha, or sacrifice of the horse, at Dundia, where 
they still point out the kund, or ‘ pit of sacrifice.’ Two Rishis, or 
‘ holy men,’ of Hinta attended Mandhata, who, on the conclusion 
of the ceremony, presented them the customary pan, or ‘ offering,’ 
which they rejected ; but on taking leave, the Raja delicately 
contrived to introduce into the bira of pan, a grant for the lands 
of Mainar. The gift, though unsolicited, was fatal to their 
sanctity, and the miracles which they had hitherto [600] been 
permitted to form, ceased with the possession of Mammon. 
Would the reader wish to have an instance of these miracles ? 
After their usual manifold ablutions, and wringing the moisture 
of their dholi, or garment, they would fling it into the air, where it 
remained suspended over their head, as a protection against the 
sun s rays. On the loss of their power, these saints became tillers 
of the ground. Their descendants hold the lands of Mainar, and 
are spread over tliis tract, named Bara Chaubisa, ‘ the great 
twenty-four ! ’ 

We also passed in this morning's march the \-illage of Bahmania, 
having a noble piece of water maintained by a strong embank- 
ment of masonry. No less than four thousand bighas are attached. 
It was fiscal land, but had been usurped during the troubles, and 
being nearly depopulated, had escaped observation. At this 
moment it is in the hands of Moti Pasban.i the favourite hand- 

* [Pasban means ‘ a watcJier.' I)r. Tessitori writes that the proper 
form of the word is Pis\ in or Pasvani, a term applied to the confidential 



A marAtha raid in MEWAR 


1631 


maid of “ the Sun of the Hindus.” This ‘ Pearl ’ (moii) pretends 
to have obtained it as a mortgage, but it would be difficult to 
show a lawful mortgager. Near the village of Bansera, on the 
estate of Fateh Singh, brother of Bhindar, we passed a seura or 
sula, a pillar or land-mark, having a grant of land inscribed 
thereon with the usual denunciations, attested by an image of the 
sacred cow, engraved in slight relief, as witness to the intention 
of the donor. 

Hinta was a place of some consequence in the chdl wars, and 
in S. 1808 (a.d. 1752) formed the appanage of one of the Babas, 
or infants of the court, of the Maharaja Sawant Singh. It now 
belongs to a subordinate Saktawat, and was the subject of con- 
siderable discussion in the treaty of resumption of the 4th of May 
1818, between the Rana and his chiefs. 

It was the scene of a gallant exploit in S. 1812, when ten 
thousand Mahrattas, led by Satwa, invaded Mewar. Raj Singh, 
of the Jhala tribe, the chief of Sadri,i and descendant of the hero 
who rescued that first of Rajput princes, Rana Partap, had reached 
the town of Hinta in his passage from court to Sadri, when he 
received intelligence that the enemy was at Salera, only three 
miles distant. He was recommended to make a slight detour 
and go by Bhindar ; but having no reason for apprehension, he 
rejected the advice, and proceeded on his way. He had not 
travelled half-a-mile, when they fell in with the marauders, who 
looked upon his small but well-mounted band as legitimate prey. 
But, in spite of the odds, they preferred death to the surrender 
of their equipments, and an action ensued, in which the Raj, after 
performing miracles of valour, regained the fort, with eight only 
of his three hrmdred and fifty retainers. The news reaching 
Kushal Singh, the chief of Bhindar, who, besides the [601] sufficient 
motive of Rajputi, or ‘ chivalry,’ was impelled by friendship and 
matrimonial connexion, he assembled a trusty band, and marched 
to rescue his friend from captivity and his estate from mortgage 
for his ransom. This little phalanx amounted only to five hundred 
men, all Saktawats, and of whom three-fourths were on foot. 


domestics of a chief, and it is often, as in this case, synonymous with 
‘ favourite.’ It denotes no particular caste, but is commonly applied to 
a slave favourite or concubine.] 

1 [llari Sadri, about 40 miles S.S.E. of Udaipur city.] 



1632 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


They advanced in a compact mass, with lighted matches, the 
cavaliers on either flank, with Kushal at their head, denouncing 
death to the man who quitted his ranks, or fired a shot without 
orders. They were soon surrounded by the cloud of Mahratta 
horse ; but resolve was too manifest in the intrepid band even 
for numbers to provoke the strife. They thus passed over the 
immense plain between Bhindar aiKl Hinta, the gates of which 
they had almost reached, when, as if ashamed at seeing their 
prey thus snatched from their grasp, the word was given, “ Barchhi 
de ! ” and a forest of Mahratta lances, each twelve feet long, 
bristled against the Saktawats. Kushal called a halt, wheeled his 
cavaliers to the rear, and allowed the foe to come within pistol- 
shot, when a well-directed volley checked their impetuosity, and 
threw them into disorder. The little band of cavalry seized the 
moment and charged in their turn, gave time to load again, and 
returned to their post to allow a second volley. The gate was 
gained, and the Sadri chief received into the ranks of deliverers. 
Elated with success, the Maharaja promptly determined rather 
to fight his way back than coop himself up in Hinta, and be 
starved into surrender ; all seconded the resolution of their chief, 
and with httle comparative loss they regained Bhindar. Tliis 
exploit is universally known, and related with exultation, as one 
of the many brilliant deeds of “ the sons of Sakta,” of whom the 
Maharaja Kushal Singh was conspicuous for worth, as well as 
gallantry. 

Morwan,! January 31.— The last day of January (with the 
thermometer 50° at daybreak) brought us to the limits of Jlewar. 
I could not look on its rich alienated lands without the deepest 
regret, or see the birthright of its chieftains devolve on the mean 
Mahratta or ruthless Pathan, without a kindling of the spirit 
towards the heroes of past days, in spite of the vexations their 
less worthy descendants occasion me ; less worthy, yet not worth- 
less, for having left my cares behind me w ith the court, where the 
stubbornness of some, the voices and intrigues of others, and the 
apathy of all, have deeply injured my health. There is some- 
thing magical in absence ; it throws a deceitful medium between 
us and the objects we have quitted, which exaggerates their 
anuable qualities, and curtails the proportions of their vices. I 

[hot found in Major Erskine’s or other official maps : in the Author’s 
map Mhorun.”] 


MORWAN 


1633 


look upon Mewar as the land of my adoption, and, linked with all 
the associations of my early hopes and [602] their actual realiza- 
tion, I feel inclined to exclaim with reference to her and her 
unmanageable children, 

Mewar, with all thy faults, I love thee still. 

The virtues owe an immense debt to the present feudal nobility, 
not only of Mewar but of Rajputana, and it is to be hoped that 
the rising generation will pay to it what has been withheld by the 
past ; that energy and temperance will supersede opium and the 
juice of the mahua,* and riding in the ring, replace the siesta, and 
the tabor (tabla) and lute. I endeavoured to banish some of these 
incentives to degeneracy ; nor is there a young chieftain, from 
the heir-apparent to the throne to the aspirant to a skin of land 
(when opportunity was granted), from whom I have not exacted a 
promise, never to touch that debasing drug, opium. Some may 
break this pledge, but many will keep it ; especially those whose 
minority I protected against court-faction and avarice : such a 
one as Arjun Singh, the young chief of Basai, of the Sangawat 
branch of the Chondawat clan. His grandfather (for his father 
was dead) had maintained the old castle and estate, placed on 
the elevated Uparmal, against all attempts of the Mahrattas, but 
had incurred the hatred of Bliim Singh of Salumbar, the head of 
his clan, who in S. 1846 dispossessed him, and installed a junior 
branch in the barony of Basai. But the energetic Takht Singh 
regained his lost rights, and maintained them, until civil broils 
and foreign foes alike disappeared, on their connexion with the 
British in 1818. Then the veteran chief, with his grandson, 
repaired to court, to unite in the general homage to their prince 
with the assembled chiefs of Mewar. But poverty and the 
remembrance of old feuds combined to dispossess the youth, and 
the amount of fine (ten thousand rupees) had actually been fixed 
for the installation of the interloper, who -was supported by all the 
influence of the chief of Salumbar. This first noble of Mewar tried 
to avail himself of my friendship to uphold the cause of his 
protege, Barad Singh, whom he often brought me to visit, as did 
old Takhta his grandson. Both were of the same age, thirteen ; 
the aspirant to Basai, fair and stout, but hea\-j" in his looks ; 

1 [Ba^sia lali folia, from the petals of which a coarse kind of spmts is 
made (Watt, Comm. Prod. 116 ff. : Yule, Hobson-Jobson, 2nd ed. 574 f.).] 


1634 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


while the possessor, Arjun, was spare, dark, and beaming with 
intelligence. Merit and justice on one side ; stupidity and power 
on the other. But there were duties to be performed ; and the old 
Thakur's appeal was not heard in vain. Swamidharma and 
this ” (puttmg his hand to his sword), said the aged chief, “ have 
hitherto preserved our rights ; now, the cause of [603] the child 
is in his sovereign's hands and yours ; but here money buys 
justice, and right yields to favour.” The Rana, though he had 
assented to the views of Salumbar, left the case to my adjudica- 
tion. I called both parties before me, and in their presence, 
from their respective statements, sketched the genealogical tree, 
exhibiting in the remote branches the stripUng’s competitors, 
which I showed to the Rana. Ever prone to do right when not 
swayed by faction, he confirmed Arjun's patent, which he had 
given him three years previously, and girt him with the sword 
of investiture. This contest for his birtliright was of great 
advantage to the youtlr ; for his grandfather was selected to 
command the quotas for the defence of the frontier fortress of 
Jahazpur, a duty which he well performed ; and his grandson 
accompanied him and was often left in command while he looked 
after the estate. Both came to visit me at Chitor. Arjun was 
greatly improved during his two years’ absence from the paternal 
abode, and promises to do honour to the clan he belongs to. 
Amongst many questions, I asked “ If he had yet taken to his 
amal ? ” to which he energetically replied, “ My fortunes will be 
cracked indeed, if ever I forget any injimction of yours.” 

But a truce to digression ; the whole village Panchayat has 
been waiting this half hour under the spreading bar ‘ tree, to 
tell me, in the language of homely truth, khush hain Compani 
sahib ke partap se, that “ by the auspices of Sir Company they are 
happy ; and that they hope I may live a thousand years.” 

I must, therefore, suspend my narrative, whilst I patiently 
listen till midnight to dismal tales of sterile fields, exhausted 
funds, exiles rmreturned, and the depredations of the wild moun- 
tain Bhil [604]. 


1 [The banyan, ficus indica.] 


THE CHIEF OF HiNTA 


1635 


CHAPTER 2 

The Chief of Hinta. — I was not deceived ; it is now midnight, 
but, late as it is, I will introduce to the readers a few of my 
visitors. The chief of Hinta, who was absent at his patrimonial 
estate of Kun, on the hills of Chappan,'^ sent his brother and his 
homme d'affaires to make his compliments to me, and express his 
regret that he could not offer them personally at Hinta, which he 
said was “ my own townshij^” This was not mere customary 
civility. Hinta had been taken by the Saktawats soon after 
the commencement of the civil wars of S. 1824, which was within 
the period (a.d. 1766) fixed by the general arrangements of the 
4th of May 1818, for restitution ; and it was impossible, without 
departing from the principle on which they were based, that the 
chief should retain it, though he could plead the prescriptive right 
of half-a-century. 

The discussions regarding Hinta were consequently very warm : 
the renunciation of ten valuable towmships by the Maharaja 
Zorawar Singh of Bhindar, the head of the Saktawat clans, did 
not annoy the Bhindar chief so much as his failure to retain 
Hinta as one of his minor feuds : nay, the surrender of Arja, the 
price of blood, a far more important castle and domain, by his 
own brother Fateh Singh (the original acquisition of which sealed 
the conclusion of a long-standing feud), excitecTless irritation than 
the demand that Hinta should revert to the fisc. •* It is the key 
of Bhindar,” said the head of the clan. “ It was a Saktawat 
allotment from the first,” exclaimed his brother. “ The Ranawat 
was an interloper,” cried another. “ It is my bapota, the abode^ 
of my fathers,” was the more feeling expression of the occupant. 
It was no light task to deal with such arguments ; especially when 
an appeal to the dictates of reason and justice was thwarted by 
the stronger impulse of self-interest. But in a matter involving 
so important a stipulation of the treaty, which required “ that 
all ftscal possessions which, since S. 1822 (a.d. 1766), the com- 
mencement of the civil wars, had, by whatever means, passed 
from the Rana to the chieftains, should be reclaimed,” firmness 
was essential to the success of a measure on which [605J depended 

1 [Part of the water-shed of Central India, dividing the drainage into 
the Bay of Bengal from that of the Gulf of Cambay.] 



1636 


PERSONAL NARRATIVE 


the restoration of order. The Saktawats behaved nobly, and 
with a purely patriotic spirit throughput the scene, when almost 
aU had to relinquish important possessions. The issue was, that 
Hinta, with its domain, after remaining twelve months incor- 
porated with the fisc, was restored to Zorawar, but curtailed of 
Dundia and its twelve hundred acres, which, though united to 
Hinta, was a distinct township in the old records. Having paid 
ten thousand rupees as the line of relief, the chief was girt witli the 
sword, and re-established in his bapota, to the great Joy of the 
whole clan. t 

Hinta is burdened with the service of fourteen horse and 
fourteen foot ; its rekh, or nominal value, in the patta-bahi, or 
‘ record of fiefs,’ being seven thousand rupees ; but, in considera- 
tion of the impoverished condition of his estate, the chief was 
only called on to furnish five horse and eight foot. The present 
possessor of Hinta is an adoption from the chieftainship of Kim ; 
but, contrary to established usage, he holds both Hinta and Kun, 
his parent fief, whereby he has a complex character, and conflict- 
ing duties to fulfil. As cliief of Kun, he belongs to the tliird class 
of nobles, styled gol, and is subject to constant personal attend- 
ance on the Rana ; as lord of Hinta, too, he has to fimnish a quota 
to serve “ at home or abroad ! ” Being compelled to appear at 
court in person, his quota for Hinta was placed under the charge 
of Man Singh (another of the Saktawat sub-vassalage), and was 
sent to the thana uf httle Sadri, on the Malwa frontier, to guard 
it from the depredations of the forester Bhil. But I was com- 
missioned by the Rana to reprimand the representative of Hinta, 
and to threaten him with the re-sequestration of the estate, if 
he did not better perform the serxdce for wliich he held it. In 
consequence of this remonstrance, I became acquainted with a 
long tale of woe ; and Man Singh’s vindication from a failure of 
duty will introduce a topic worthy of notice connected with the 
feudal system of Mewar, namely, the subdiidsion of fiefs. 

Man Singh Saktawat is a younger branch of the Lawa famil